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Re: [vox-tech] beowulf cluster
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Re: [vox-tech] beowulf cluster

On Friday 10 January 2003 03:41 pm, Bill Broadley wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 06, 2003 at 02:48:38PM -0800, Ryan Detert wrote:
> > I am looking for a good howto or a really clear book on setting up a
> > beowulf cluster. I have 3 computers and I am wondering first off if it
> > would be easier to use NFS or having each node have a completely
> > functional OS.
> Hrm, thats a pretty large subject, what exactly are your goals?  Resume
> fodder?  A particular application?  Parallelizing a particular code?

I hear lots and lots of talk about building beowulf clusters, but I don't
hear much talk about applications.  Is there existing software that
will distribute problems across such such clusters *automatically*?  
I'm thinking about high-level software, e.g., Matlab, or octave, or even
a more special-purpose application.  Or is the power of these clusters
only harnessed when I write near-custom, MPI-based code that
specifically parallelizes *my* problem?  I recognize the difficulty in
auto-magically parallelizing, but what *good* is such a cluster if I
have to write custom code all the time?

I've got 3 computers, too, Ryan, and I've always wondered what I
could do to combine them into a more useful whole, especially for
Matlab-like processing.


> I'd check out:
> 	http://www.beowulf.org
> I'd also recommend joining the beowulf mailing list (same site).
> I happen to be teaching a Beowulf Design and Parallel Programming
> course for the second time at the moment.
> In general, in the loosest terms a beowulf is basically a collection
> of commodity hardware (i.e. pc's or similar), running an open OS, and
> running some software layer for communication (I.e. MPI).  So if you
> have 3 linux boxes just install MPICH:
> 	http://www-unix.mcs.anl.gov/mpi/mpich/

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