[Beowulf] Beowulf Digest, Vol 192, Issue 6

Mark Kosmowski mark.kosmowski at gmail.com
Tue Feb 4 18:36:54 PST 2020

I have my eye on just such a machine (an older Cisco UCS C460 M2 with 4 x
Xeon E7-4870 (10 core)).  I'll know tomorrow if I was outbid or not.  It is
in my local area and shipping is high, so hopefully.

> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 03 Feb 2020 18:14:00 -0600
> From: Jonathan Douglas Engwall <engwalljonathanthereal at gmail.com>
> To: Mark Kosmowski <mark.kosmowski at gmail.com>, "beowulf at beowulf.org"
>         <beowulf at beowulf.org>
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] First cluster in 20 years - questions about
>         today
> Message-ID: <1aehm2g2apv52ollgrey2doa.1580775240059 at email.android.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> At least get a 4U, 4 CPU rack machine and don't even think of any GPU
> older than 2016. Better yet, look toward a DELL T440, they sell off when
> the warranty starts to go, practically new, at prices that will shock you;
> if you have paid for a laptop or phone recently.
> Industrial cast-offs are the way to go. You can try whatever you like that
> way, because you are running solid equipment.
> You can't protect yourself when a developer dumps support for this or that
> when everything you use is older, edge-case, or your own handiwork,
> professional it may be.
> Jonathan Engwall
> On February 1, 2020, at 9:21 PM, Mark Kosmowski <mark.kosmowski at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 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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