[Beowulf] First cluster in 20 years - questions about today

Jonathan Aquilina jaquilina at eagleeyet.net
Sat Feb 1 22:44:33 PST 2020

Hi Mark,

So you are going to revive your old 3 node cluster and expand that? I would suggest if you are looking to expand the cluster I would look at the ryzen epyc rome 2 the second generation of these chips is quite impressive in the sense you can do double the amount of 2 single intel chips. They vary from 8 core 16 threads up to 64 core 128 threads. Also you don’t have all these issues that intel are currently facing with 7nm process as well as the vulnerabilities. I just moved my gaming pc from a 6th gen i7 to a ryzen 5 3600 6 core 12 thread machine and im seeing a huge difference in performance.

Jonathan Aquilina

Phone +356 20330099
Sales – sales at eagleeyet.net<mailto:sales at eagleeyet.net>
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From: Beowulf <beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org<mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org>> On Behalf Of Mark Kosmowski
Sent: Sunday, 2 February 2020 04:21
To: beowulf at beowulf.org<mailto:beowulf at beowulf.org>
Subject: [Beowulf] First cluster in 20 years - questions about today

I've been out of computation for about 20 years since my master degree.  I'm getting into the game again as a private individual.  When I was active Opteron was just launched - I was an early adopter of amd64 because I needed the RAM (maybe more accurately I needed to thoroughly thrash my swap drives).  I never needed any cluster management software with my 3 node, dual socket, single core little baby Beowulf.  (My planned domain is computational chemistry and I'm hoping to get to a point where I can do ab initio catalyst surface reaction modeling of small molecules (not biomolecules).)

I'm planning to add a few nodes and it will end up being fairly heterogenous.  My initial plan is to add two or three multi-socket, multi-core nodes as well as a 48 port gigabit switch.  How should I assess whether to have one big heterogenous cluster vs. two smaller quasi-homogenous clusters?

Will it be worthwhile to learn a cluster management software?  If so, suggestions?

Should I consider Solaris or illumos?  I do plan on using ZFS, especially for the data node, but I want as much redundancy as I can get, since I'm going to be using used hardware.  Will the fancy Solaris cluster tools be useful?

Also, once I get running, while I'm getting current with theory and software may I inquire here about taking on a small, low priority academic project to make sure the cluster side is working good?

Thank you all for still being here!
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