[Beowulf] just to stir the pot a bit more<grin>
James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Nov 28 10:57:15 PST 2005
So, in my mailbox this morning was the latest issue of "Microwaves and RF"
with an article:
"Cluster Computers speed EM simulation" describing how Sonnet Software has
clusterized their EM analysis tools, using the user interface on client,
number crunching on cluster backend model.
this is a good example of a task that is easy to partition, since the
calculations for each frequency point are essentially independent of the
others, so once you've built the model, you can easily farm it out to all
AND, it's a capability that is exceedingly useful to RF designers, who are
always trading off wall clock time against the number of frequencies you've
analyzed the circuit at, hoping you didn't miss some horrible resonance or
They use LSF from PlatformComputing http://www.platform.com/ as their
here's Sonnet's page
the pricing model is a bit punitive, IMHO, since they require a separate
license of the top of the line software (Sonnet Pro) for EACH node (they
don't quote a price on the website, but the tier BELOW the Pro (Level 3
Gold) is $12K)..
Seems that all the stuff in the article about how cheap each node can be is
sort of pointless, when you're going to be installing software that costs,
easily, 4x the hardware cost.
No data on what the LSF component from Platform might cost (the Platform
website is very flashy, but relatively content free, unless you like
reading press releases)
However, it also appears that the backend could be Linux and the front end
client could be Windows, since Sonnet runs on all of them. (or, just to
get rgb cranked up... the single client could be Linux, and the
computational back end could some horrible mix of Apple, Unix, and Windows
machines, perhaps of different versions!)
James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
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