[Beowulf] Which distro for the cluster?
john.hearns at streamline-computing.com
Fri Dec 29 01:50:45 PST 2006
Chetoo Valux wrote:
> But then it comes the administration and maintenance burden, which for
> me it
> should be the less, since my main task here is research ... so browsing the
> net I found Rocks Linux with plenty of clustering docs and administration
> tools & guidelines. I feel this should be the choice in my case, even if I
> sacrifice some computation efficiency.
You are thinking well here.
Choose a 'mainstream' distro - Rocks, Redhat based distro (Scientific
Linux?) or SuSE.
An HPC cluster exists to run applications - you should look at the
applications and which distro they will run under, and which are supported.
By this I mean - are your applications written in-house? If so, ask your
users which compilers and libraries they need.
If you run commercial codes, you need to find out which distros are
supported. Again, usually SuSE or Redhat.
So, being a little harsh at this time of year, Gentoo is unlikely to be
your first choice in terms of getting support.
Also "sacrificing computational efficiency" is a red herring.
In HPC, there is a very unusual work pattern on machines - which I think
people who think only in terms of web servers, general use machines etc.
are caught out by.
IF you get your HPC cluster right - and you should try to as they cost
$$$$, then 99% of CPU time is spent in applications.
You should then substitute "Gentoo for efficiency" by "Which compiler
Get your applications together, and download the one-month trial
versions of Pathscale, Portland and Intel. And try them out.
Senior HPC Engineer
The Innovation Centre, Warwick Technology Park,
Gallows Hill, Warwick CV34 6UW
Office: 01926 623130 Mobile: 07841 231235
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