Walter B. Ligon III
walt at parl.ces.clemson.edu
Mon Jul 17 08:10:20 PDT 2000
A Beowulf system has the following characteristics:
1) designed for parallel (high-performance) computing
2) dedicated nodes - private network
3) COTS hardware
4) open-source system software
It seems the question is this: is Myrinet or SCI considered COTS? Depends
on what COTS mean. I've heard it as "Commercial Off-The-Shelf" and as
"Commodity-Off-The-Shelf". These products would fit the first definition
and not the second.
The original spirit of Beowulf was based on the second definition. The idea
was to get the best price/performance possible from mass-produced parts.
At the same time I don't think anyone intended to exclude innovation in
new hardware, especially in the network. I don't think most people today
would exclude Myrinet or SCI as a Beowulf - but as has already been pointed
out, this treads on the grounds of philosophical argument - I'd rather not
get into THAT fray!
Dr. Walter B. Ligon III
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