[Beowulf] cluster building advice?

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Wed Sep 26 01:54:01 PDT 2012

There's nearly nothing there at that link.

Just a handful of SRPMS.

My point of openfabrics is: most people build a cluster in order to  
be have more performance
than a single machine can give. Not seldom that's also with latest  
hardware (not in my case
but i expect most beowulf aren't using old hardware).

To get performance you want latest compilers and pretty much latest  
stable kernel therefore
as a minimum requirement.

Another issue with clusters is SAFETY.

Now by paying big cash to SLES or RHEL maybe you can buy safety -  
maybe someone wants
to comment on that and prove to me on paper the safety of it. Yet  
where safety is the most important
concern for most organisations with respect to HPC, i never see  
anyone comment on it.

But let's start with the performance issue.

Even trying to compile GCC 4.7.0 both 32 and 64 bits in SL was a  
problem though it had been
released for months.

There is also clang now to mention.

Now if commercial companies like SLES and RHEL choose to use that,  
that's none of my business.

It's sad that OpenFabrics isn't there optimizing performance though  
and by default still uses some GCC version
from nearly a decade ago which wasn't as improved for 64 bits as much  
as latest versions are, to say very polite.

If i want to slowdown factor 2 with some software i don't need to  
build a cluster you know.

I can use my laptop if performance is not an issue.

On Sep 26, 2012, at 10:32 AM, Jonathan Barber wrote:

> On 26 September 2012 09:15, Vincent Diepeveen <diep at xs4all.nl> wrote:
>> On Sep 26, 2012, at 5:30 AM, Christopher Samuel wrote:
> [snip]
>>>> The intention is for the system to be used for scientific
>>>> computation. I am trying to decide on a linux distribution to use.
>>>> Does it matter all that much?
>>> If you're going to be using commercial codes then you probably want
>>> something that's Red Hat or a rebuild (CentOS or Scientific Linux).
>> Used Scientific Linux for a while. It has no downloadable source  
>> code.
> Say what now? You can download the source RPMs for the 6x build  
> from here:
> http://ftp.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6x/SRPMS/
> Cheers
> -- 
> Jonathan Barber <jonathan.barber at gmail.com>
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