[Beowulf] What's the category of Beowulf among Clusters?
gdjacobs at gmail.com
Fri Dec 19 17:58:14 PST 2008
Mark Hahn wrote:
>> Clusters, Grids, MPPs, MPI, OpenMP, HA, LB, GPGPU, FPGA, SMP, NUMA,
>> SSE etc..
>> These abbreviations and terms almost cram my head, so I have to
>> redvelop and re-index them in my memory(brain).
> think of what the acronym is abbreviating, and the logic of that name.
>> As a newbie, when I read the articles in wikipekia, I got confused.
>> In the segment Cluster categorizations
> that's horrible and incomplete.
It's wiki. Why don't we fix it?
> IMO, HA and load-balancing are not really distinctly different, since LB
> is really just active-active HA. (or HA is active-passive LB).
> other than HA/LB, clusters are computational. within compute clusters,
> the main distinction is how tightly coupled they (or the programs they run)
> are. grids are the extreme loose end: basically no inter-node
> often geographically distributed, often ad-hoc collections of different
> of machines run by different organizations. the opposite is a homogenous,
> tightly-coupled cluster with a dedicated local network optimized for
> inter-node communication and running few multi-node jobs.
>> , both "Cluster computing" and "Grid computing" are the subclasses of
> "cluster computing" is descriptive: the entity is a set of nodes somehow
> combined, usually by a local communication fabric. by definition, the
> are separate, so distributed. (the 'distributed' here means that
> communication is by explicit message passing; the opposite is
> where communication is implicit and done by read/write operations to
> "grid" is a marketing term for "loosely coupled distributed clustering";
> it was a trendy word 10 years ago, but has fallen into disuse because
> it's so generic (and not all that widely applicable).
I always thought the idea was to charge for computing as a service (just
like the electrical utility). Actually, many firms are doing this now.
Amazon, for example.
>> "Distribute computing" ,and the third one is "Massive parallel
>> processing ". IMHO, the latter category is more reasonable(right or
>> not?) .
> MPP doesn't mean much; its best to avoid the term and stick to more
> specific ones.
>> However, since there are too many cluster software products, how
>> can I categorize Beowulf like clusters( loosely coupled, use MPI)? or
> beowulf certainly does not imply loose coupling (or rule out PVM.)
Far from it. In fact, a great deal of work goes into optimizing the
interconnect and the software payload for tightly coupled, fine
>> what's the category of Beowulf like clusters?
> beowulf is compute clustering using mostly commodity hardware and mostly
> open-source software.
Designed to reduce the clock time and/or increase the maximum practical
problem size of computational problems.
Geoffrey D. Jacobs
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