Cluster benchmark(s)?

Jared Hodge jared_hodge at
Tue Jan 16 12:13:50 PST 2001

	That's kind of a funny question.  Not funny as in Ha Ha, but funny as
in strange.  It's a good question, but the problem is that people who
use and build Beowulf clusters (being the informed, scientific type) do
so for specific applications which very from cluster to cluster.  These
applications (which are the only real benchmark) very as to weather they
are CPU limited or network latency or bandwidth limited, or limited by
something else (like disk space or memory).  That means if your going to
run a generic benchmark on a cluster, you need to run benchmarks that
test these components and let the user/developer weigh the different
portions that they see as important.  For cpu limited benchmark, there
is tons of stuff, but I think the parallel POVRAY ray tracer is a common
tool for comparison.  For network latency, there are various versions of
ping pong tests and such that can be used, and for bandwidth, well, you
could just use ftp, although that's not really in context, because not
to many parallel programs actually call ftp, but it should give you a
rough idea.  I'm by no means an authority on any of this, so maybe you
can get some input from the people on the list who are more
experienced.  Like I said though, I'm sure a lot of them will give you
the generic answer that the only true benchmark is your application.

Randy_Howard at wrote:
> I am curious if there is any reference benchmark software for a Beowulf
> cluster to test the networking and processing capabilities.  More for
> comparitive testing between various configurations than meaningful data
> values.  Any pointers you have would be very helpful.
> Randy
> _______________________________________________
> Beowulf mailing list
> Beowulf at

Jared Hodge
Institute for Advanced Technology
The University of Texas at Austin
3925 W. Braker Lane, Suite 400
Austin, Texas 78759

Phone: 512-232-4460
FAX: 512-471-9096
Email: Jared_Hodge at

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