[Beowulf] The Walmart Compute Node?
andrew at moonet.co.uk
Fri Nov 9 08:35:01 PST 2007
Sod all this tin pot stuff.
Buying all this crap, sticking it in a rack and stringing it together
with wire aint difficult. Making the damn software work is the tricky
Get loads of ram, vmware-server and BINGO! you have a cluster!
Trust me...its the best and most efficient way.
On 09/11/2007, Vincent Diepeveen <diep at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> On Nov 9, 2007, at 1:27 AM, Chris Dagdigian wrote:
> > It is dangerous to project *your* particular use cases and
> > workflows upon the community at large.
> > Most of the clusters I end up building or working on (academic,
> > government and corporate sites) are intended to support periodic
> > spikes in computing demands. For university sites this could be the
> > end of each semester as student projects become due and for
> > research labs it may be for a 10 day period proceeding the
> > submission of a major paper or grant applications. For EDA
> > companies entire clusters may lay idle until some massive
> > validation process needs to kick off.
> > Clusters built to meet peak demand rarely hit 90% utilization
> > (averaged over time) and often have lots of idle capacity sitting
> > around waiting for a peak period to arrive. That is why we pay
> > particular attention to things like Project Hedeby from Sun and the
> > EGO stuff from Platform Computing along with the various homegrown
> > based systems that people have built to power-on and power-off
> > nodes (via IPMI) based on the length of the pending job list
> A few remarks:
> a) the 70% usage comes from "supercomputer report europe".
> b) "the community" that posts here has like NEAR TO ZERO $2500
> clusters at their work,
> so if you happen to know 1+ then that already gives statistical
> significant bragging rights.
> Ever seen a company say: "heh here you got $2500 build me the fastest
> cluster you can get for that money"?
> Actually i'm typing at an ex-company machine, a macbookpro 17'',
> which i got from my previous employer and it is still 2600 euro in
> the shop here, which soon is a dollar or 5000.
> In general when crunching becomes important to a company, definitely
> a billion euro company, then they're gonna invest quite some more
> than $2500 into crunching power.
> c) homegrown clusters usually are not built at the same manner like
> the $2500 project says. Usually people buy a machine now, buy one a
> year later and so on, and just cluster 'em, so instead of trying to
> stick strict in some $2500 budget it's more like: "which cpu at what
> cheapo mainboard gives most dang for my bucks". that'll be a quadcore.
> d) for $2500 private clusters (private as in: at home) energy costs
> play a big role.
> e) another result of increased energy costs is of course sound concerns.
> Regarding C: A far more interesting theoretic question is of course
> whether you should see most homegrown clusters as a cluster or as
> some jbon (just a bunch of cheapo nodes), as i can't really recall
> most 'private house clusters' to have even MPI installed. When is it
> a cluster?
> heh you sure you still want your 2 cents in dollar currency rather
> than euro's?
> > In systems built for peak power and not constant throughput power
> > control is a big deal and the eventual goal I'd love to see is more
> > grid schedulers and resource brokers becoming hardware aware to the
> > point of being able to power on and off nodes based on a given
> > policy. It's coming and I've seen some neat homegrown solutions
> > already.
> > My $.02 as always
> > -Chris
> > On Nov 8, 2007, at 7:02 PM, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
> >> Building a $2500 cluster in order to NOT run software at it then
> >> nonstop beats the idea of building a cluster. <snip> That assumes
> >> you actually RUN software and that you have a lack of processing
> >> power nonstop. So the machines are running all the time.
> >> Additionally it's a private cluster, not some government type thing.
> >> I tend ro remember the government model assumed in the end 70%
> >> usage effectively of processing power. That's not real true for
> >> private users of clusters. You really get far above 90% usage.
> >> So you can argue the idle states do matter in the end for energy
> >> costs, but you definitely can't assume it's idle majority of the
> >> time. Building a $2500 cluster in order to then not let it run day
> >> and night definitely is a thrown away $2500.
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