[Beowulf] Small form computers as cluster nodes - any comments about the Shuttle brand ?
landman at scalableinformatics.com
Sat Aug 8 09:51:58 PDT 2009
David Ramirez wrote:
> Due to space constraints I am considering implementing a 8-node (+
> master) HPC cluster project using small form computers. Knowing that
> Shuttle is a reputable brand, with several years in the market, I wonder
> if any of you out there has already used them on clusters and how has
> been your experience (performance, reliability etc.)
The down sides (from watching others do this)
1) no ECC ram. You will get bit-flips. ECC protects you (to a degree)
against some bit-flippage. If you can get ECC memory (and turn on the
ECC support in BIOS), by all means, do so.
2) power. One customer from a while ago did this, and found that the
power supplies on the units were not able to supply a machine running
the processor and memory (and disk/network etc) at nearly full load for
many hours. You have to make sure your entire computing infrastructure
(in the box) fits in *under* the power budget from the supply. This may
be easier these days using "gamer" rigs which have power to handle GPU
cards, but keep this in mind anyway.
3) networks. Sadly, the NICs on the hobby machines aren't usually up to
the level of quality on the server systems. You might not get PXE
capability (though these days, I haven't seen many boards without it).
Just evaluate your options carefully with the specs in hand. You will
have design tradeoffs due to the space constraint, just keep in mind
your goals as you evaluate them.
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics, Inc.
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
fax : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615
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