question about Beowulf clusters

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by David_G17, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    I'm just reading up on this field, but I have a question. Can I build a Beowulf cluster with processors of different speeds?

    For instance, could I build a Beowulf cluster with a master node running 2.4 Ghz Pentium IV, and other nodes running 800 Mhz Pentium III's, Celerons, Pentium II's, etc.?

    If I understand this wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetric_multiprocessing I believe I can. From what I gather Beowulf is not SMP, but rather ASMP, which implies I can cluster CPU's of different speeds together.

    any advice or useful links are appreciated as well as an answer to my initial question.

    thanks!
     
  2. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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  3. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    http://www.canonical.org/~kragen/beowulf-faq.txt


    Q: Can I make a Beowulf out of different kinds of machines --
    single-processor, dual-processor, 200MHz, 400MHz, etc.?



    A: Sure. Splitting up your application optimally gets a little harder but
    it's not infeasible.
     
  4. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    Yes. You can.

    If you're just messing around with them, you'll never notice. The traffic cop that takes care of sending the individual processes will just send the next one to the next available processor.

    DanH
     
  5. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    awesome, Thanks guys!
     
  6. greenlead

    greenlead

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    Have you thought about using a Mosix cluster instead?
     
  7. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    I don't know much about clusters (hence my desire to implement one). What's the difference b/t Mosix and Beowulf?
     
  8. greenlead

    greenlead

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    Upsides:
    Mosix runs on the kernel layer. It doesn't need special applications.

    Seemless: Mosix will allow computers to seemlessly join/leave the cluster with no apparent change. Jobs are distributed seemlessly, as well.

    Mosix is available on live CD's (ie: ClusterKnoppix, dyne:bolic, PlumpOS) as well as an installed version, you just pop the CD in a computer that isn't being used, and it boots up, and it looks for and joins the cluster. You can boot up a lab of these and suddenly have your jobs go much more quickly.

    Downsides:
    There hasn't been a Mosix update in a while
    Mosix runs on the 2.4 kernel, and doesn't support 2.6
    All computers you intend to cluster together must have the same version of Mosix installed.
    It only works with Linux (as far as I know), so you can't launch jobs from Windows.