[Beowulf] thunderbolt?

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Feb 25 07:17:23 PST 2011

From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Ellis H. Wilson III [ellis at runnersroll.com]
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2011 06:56
To: beowulf at beowulf.org
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] thunderbolt?

On 02/25/11 08:05, Jonathan Dursi wrote:
> Not really - best I've seen so far is ars
> http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/02/thunderbolt-smokes-usb-firewire-with-10gbps-throughput.ars

>From the page:
"That 10Gbps is much faster than most current I/O technologies. With two
devices pushing data at the maximum rate, you could back up a full
Blu-ray movie in 30 seconds, or sync 64GB of music to a portable device
in about a minute."

I love completely meaningless comparisons like this, which assume the
medium your pushing or pulling your data to or from is capable of
respectively reading or writing at that rate.  For instance, where is
this massive Blu-ray movie going to?  

>>> not to mention that Digital Rights Management means you're unlikely to be allowed to "back-up" that copyrighted Blu-Ray video.
(at least they're not talking about "transferring a Library of Congress" or stacks of encyclopedias)

> interest.   Consumer grade stuff suddenly coming with something that  looks a bit like
> Inifiniband, (that you could also also easily open a console up over?) does  seem like
> it'd be useful.   The question is, I guess, if it can be switched/routed easily.

I guess I'm lost on why this would be really useful, especially from a
beowulfery perspective.  It's not like any sane Beowulfer would pay a
premium for Macs just to have this interconnect when they could just get
some old IB hardware.

>> optical interconnects are nice.  If high rate optical becomes a "consumer product" that's hewing to the original beowulf concept of leveraging cheap commodity hardware to build a supercomputer.  Yes, I know that cluster computing has fallen from the true path of Beowulf, but as our namesake hero says, that was the mead talking.

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