[Beowulf] Anybody using Redhat HPC Solution in their Beowulf

Ellis H. Wilson III ellis at runnersroll.com
Thu Oct 28 07:09:25 PDT 2010

On 10/27/10 12:32, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:
> 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).

I wasn't suggesting the CS guys affect the correctness of the stack or 
kernel, my comment was purely performance-specific:

"CS guys...can once in a while trace workloads, test new load balancing 
  mechanisms, try different kernel settings for performance, etc."

Obviously if you are altering things that endanger the correctness of 
the scientific workload people will be upset.  If your tracer fails, 
your load balancer degrades performance slightly, or your new cache 
replacement policy sucks then the program might run slow but it should 
complete correctly.

> 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.

The difficulty I have getting access to alter and research root-level 
stuff on clusters is so great that administration by me or my adviser 
would allow my dissertation to move forward much more rapidly.  Instead 
systems researchers try and simulate large systems, which as you can 
imagine often leads to inaccurate or downright incorrect results and 
consequent publications.

Frankly, I'd be the rock-star of the CS department if I had 
administrative control of a reasonably-sized cluster.  Everyone (in CS) 
would be coming to me to get their research done.  So it requires a 
little administration??  With all my spare cycles not having to write 
simulation codes for an entire I/O stack it would be totally worth it.


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