[Beowulf] 512 atoms in a box

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Fri May 27 20:59:42 PDT 2011

I was thinking about the seamicro box - 512 atoms, 64 disks and 
either 64 Gb ports or 16 10G ports.  it would be interesting to 
look at what the most appropriate "balance" is for mips/flops 
of cpu power compared to interconnect bandwidth.  maybe the seamicro
box is more intended to be a giant memcached server - that is,
the question is memory bandwidth/capacity versus IC bandwidth.

in any case, you have to ponder where the amazing value-add is - 
compactness?  I'm not sure it competes all that well compared to 
48 core-per-U conventional servers (whether mips/flops or memory-based).

here's an idea, more commodity-oriented (hence beowulf): suppose you 
design a tiny widget that gets all its power via POE.  maybe Atom or 
ARM-based - you've got 15-20W, which is quite a bit these days.
for packaging, you need space for a cpu, nic and sodimm.  maybe some leds.

plug them into a commodity 1U 48-port Gb switch, then stack 10 of them
and you've got a penny-pincher's approximation of a Seamicro SM100000!

not going to win top500, but...

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