No subject

Thu Jun 12 22:07:40 PDT 2014

time, the nodes most of us worked with were SUN SPARCstations.  We were
using p4, Express, Strand88, and Linda back then --- but the "environment"
that really caught people's imagination and pushed clustering forward was
PVM (with its first public release in 1989 version 2.4 -- if my faulty
memory severs me correctly).

Throughout the early 90's, there were a series of clustering workshops at
Florida State University (or was it the university of Florida --- I always
get those two mixed up) where we got together and shared information about
clustering.  Those early clustering workshops were some of the most
enjoyable workshops I've ever attended. Just about everyone who was active
in clustering were at those meetings. It was an exciting time.  The MPP
world had nothing but scorn for us "young upstarts" and we really had to
work hard to prove we were a viable option for supercomputing. 

If you look at those old workshop proceedings, you'll see that all the major
components of a Beowulf cluster were available and in use in those days.
Sure, there were major differences.  For one things, we couldn't do anything
to the OS kernel since we didn't have access to source code.  But in terms
of what the user of a cluser sees --- the parallel algorithms, parallel
programming environments, batch-queue/Job-management, and cluster management
systems -- we had it all way back in the early 90's.

So yes, you can cluster with Sparc.  It would be accurate to say -- from my
point of view -- that Sparc is where clustering really took off.


P.S. So now I'm ready for someone from DEC to tell me that clustering even
predates SPARC.  To a certain extent, that may be the case, but the old DEC
clusters were not "shared nothing" clusters and were quite different beasts
-- weren't they?  

Disclaimer: The opinions in this message are my own and do not reflect the
views of my employer.


-----Original Message-----
From: Josip Loncaric [mailto:josip at]
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2001 7:24 AM
To: Raul Romero Wells
Cc: Scott.Brown at; beowulf at
Subject: Re: Beowulf on Sparc

Raul Romero Wells wrote:
> Easy, as a Sun's dealer said: "you can instal Sun's linux on it..."
> Scott.Brown at wrote:
> > This may seem to be a stupid question, pardon my ignorance. I'm looking
> > information on building Beowulf clusters with ultra sparc hardware. Any
> > information would be greatly appreciated.

Clusters do not require Linux -- in fact, a nice Solaris cluster was
recently built at William & Mary:

SciClone is a heterogeneous cluster, using 64 Ultra 5 (single CPU
machines), 32+6 Ultra 60 (dual CPU machines), 4 Enterprise 420R servers
(quad CPU each) and an Ultra 60 front end machine.  This is a rich
environment designed to support a wide variety of research activities.


Dr. Josip Loncaric, Senior Staff Scientist        mailto:josip at
ICASE, Mail Stop 132C           PGP key at
NASA Langley Research Center             mailto:j.loncaric at
Hampton, VA 23681-2199, USA    Tel. +1 757 864-2192  Fax +1 757 864-6134

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