[Beowulf] Advice on 4 CPU node configurations

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Thu Feb 3 06:42:18 PST 2011

Hearns, John wrote:
>>   We are designing a new HPC system for our lab. We are shifting ideas
>> around (our budget is of 30K euro).

30K EUR won't get you much, especially if you have to by IB  or 10 GbE
networking hardware. For that little money, I would recommend buying a
4-socket server with 8- or 12-core CPUs, and load it up with as much RAM
as possible. You might be able to by 2 or 3, depending on how much you
max them out.

If you go this route, make sure it has redundant disks, power supplies
and all this, since you won't have inherent redunancy of duplicate
cluster nodes.

I recently ordered a couple of Dell PowerEdge R815s with 32-cores (4
sockets) and 128 GB of RAM, and my users have been flocking to them.
Unfortunately, one of these servers keeps reporting SBEs since October
and that still hasn't resolved to my satisfaction (documented elsewhere
on this list), so I wouldn't recommend that particular model.


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