Reliability of Beowulf

Mat Harris mat.harris at
Mon Sep 16 08:04:45 PDT 2002

Well, I know NOTHING about clusters (hoping to learn) or memory addressing,
c or anything like that, yet I have 4Gb physical RAM on my dual athlon
server with no problems. Also what about the 12Gb RAM MSI motherboards?

On Mon, Sep 16, 2002 at 05:48:36AM -0700, Toof Chanon wrote:
> Hello,
>         I am a newbie to Beowulf and Computer
> Architecture context. I don't understand how Beowulf 
> PC cluster could manage huge memory usage.  Please
> correct if I am wrong.  For each PC, a Beowulf's node
> could provide only 32-bit address array A(n) ; n <
> (2**31-1)/nb; nb = number of byte, e.g. real*8 array, 
> A(268435455), which depend on (fortran) compilers.
> Currently, 2-3 GB physical ram is PC limit. Suppose
> that I have 2 nodes, then 4 GB is all share physical
> ram. Ok, I knew that there is linux kernel which
> supports > 2 GB ram. Do I need a special compiler
> which supports > 2GB address also? If yes, I guess
> such a compiler may be too expensive. No advantage for
> going Beowulf. I believe that Beowulf is a set of
> cheap and robust thing. My point is,
> How could Beowulf cluster manage its huge memory > 2GB
> by using a common 32-bit extent
> system/compiler(linux/fortran)? 
> Is this true that Beowulf provides only parallel
> processing jobs but it does not tackle a huge problem
> such a big array requirement/management? We have to
> turn to supercomputer again. 
> I have a stupid question because I am a student who is
> seeking for a high performance machine for doing
> research. Beowulf is only one worth, I go. 
> So I would like to give your suggestion to
> convince my supervisor go Beowulf for a big problem. 
> Any suggestion will be appreciated
> Regards,
> Toof Chanon
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