[Beowulf] Pony: not yours.

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Fri May 17 07:01:04 PDT 2013

On 05/17/2013 09:46 AM, Prentice Bisbal wrote:
> On 05/17/2013 02:42 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
>> Yes, both for my personal computing (mostly, just a few old boxes on
>> the Internet, less than kW total) and the dayjob I do that. I would
>> gladly buy ARM cluster-in-a-rackmount, provided the price/performance
>> is right, and assuming you could get these from the usual vendors.
> How about the Boston Viridis?
> http://www.boston.co.uk/solutions/viridis/default.aspx

[commercial horn tooting]

Penguin makes a 4U Supermicro chassis based ARM system.  24 bay chassis.

We make a 2 and 4U 24, a 4U 48, and 4U 60 bay Scalable chassis based ARM 
system based upon

There are a number of others as well.  All based in one way or another 
upon the Calxeda reference design.

We've got their booting integrated into our tiburon control bit (local 
disk booting for so many nodes is so 1990's :) ), and I believe Penguin 
has their booting integrated into their cloud software.

[/commercial horn tooting]

Observations on using them:  ARM chips are not fast.  They are great 
when you need *many* cpu cycles in a given volume, just don't expect 
these to be speed demons.  They aren't.  They make great web servers, 
wonderful mail servers ... everything the *aaS system folks need.  With 
enough units running in parallel you can attack [buzzword warning] big 
data problems with abandon [/buzzword warning].  They are terrific for this.

But they really aren't (in this incarnation anyway), HPC focused chips.

That said, putting 192 cores in 48 compute nodes, along with 1/4 PB of 
storage in a 4U rack mount container is pretty darned awesome.  And the 
CPUs will get faster and more efficient over time, so the HPC comment 
likely has an expiration date on it.

Add to this, they run Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.  Easy tool stack, most 
stuff just works.  FP heavy and memory intensive code ... not so well. 
Integer heavy code, pretty well.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics, Inc.
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
fax  : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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