[Beowulf] Anybody using Redhat HPC Solution in their Beowulf

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Oct 27 09:32:43 PDT 2010

> Optimally IMHO, in university setups physical scientists create the need
> for HPC.  These types shouldn't (as Kilian mentions) need to inherit all
> of the responsibilities and overheads of cluster management to use one
> (or pay cluster vendors annually for support).  They should simply walk
> over to the CS department, find system guys (who would probably drool
> over the potential of administering a reasonably sized cluster) and work
> out an agreement where the physical science types can "just use it" and
> the systems/CS guys administer it and can once in a while trace
> workloads, test new load balancing mechanisms, try different kernel
> settings for performance, etc.  This way the physical scientists get
> their work done on a well supported HPC system for no extra cash and
> computer scientists get great, non-toy traces and workloads to further
> their own research.  Both parties win.

I don't know about this model.
This is like developing software on prototype hardware.  The hardware guys and gals keep wanting to change the hardware, and the software developers complain that their software keeps breaking, or that the hardware is buggy (and it is).

The computational physics and computational biology guys get to work on cool, nifty stuff to push their dissertation forward by using a hopefully stable computational platform.
But I don't think the CS guys would drool over the possibility of administering a cluster. The CS guys get to be sysadmin/maintenance types...not very fun for them, and not the kind of work that would work for their dissertation.  

Now, if the two groups were doing research on new computational methods (what's the best way to simulate X) perhaps you'd get a collaboration.

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