[Beowulf] 10 kCore cluster in Amazon cloud, costs ~1 kUSD/hour

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Thu Apr 7 07:16:53 PDT 2011

A great publicity stunt, but I still don't think it qualifies as a
"real" HPC cluster achievement.  See comments/objections in-line below.

On 04/07/2011 04:56 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> http://www.networkworld.com/cgi-bin/mailto/x.cgi?pagetosend=/news/2011/040611-linux-supercomputer.html&pagename=/news/2011/040611-linux-supercomputer.html&pageurl=http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/040611-linux-supercomputer.html&site=datacenter&nsdr=n 
> The cluster ran for eight hours

That's not very long for HPC jobs. How much would the performance have
degraded if it started to run into the daytime hours, when demand for
CPU cycles  in EC2 would be at their peak?

> Genentech benefited from the high number of cores
> because its calculations were "embarrassingly parallel," with no
> communication between nodes, so performance stats "scaled linearly with the
> number of cores," Corn said.

So it wasn't really a cluster at all, but a giant batch scheduling system.

I probably have a stricter sense of what makes a cluster than some
others, so let's not argue on the the definition of cluster and split
hairs. In my book, a cluster involves parallel communication between the
processes using MPI, PVM or some other parallel communications paradigm.

And BTW, my comments are not directed Eugene for posting this. Just
starting a general discussion on this article...


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