How to use a beowulf class materials?

Jared Hodge jared_hodge at
Fri Mar 30 07:14:48 PST 2001

If I were going to teach a class on Beowulf computing, I would start
with the systems perspective and go over various different setups (NOWs,
COWs, Beowulfs, and Big Iron computers).  Discuss networking
possibilities (Gigabit connections, channel bonding and the switch
placement algorithms, latency and Bandwidth considerations).  I would
also focus on diskless clusters some since this (I think) is the way
cluster computing is going.  In the second section I would get more into
parallel programming algorithms and techniques, etc.  You've obviously
got the background for this.  Remember that although Beowulf clusters
are getting more and more popular, probably very few of your students
will actually work with a "purebred" beowulf cluster and even if they
do, many of the tools will be somewhat different by the time they
graduate.  Teach them to understand why certain practices have become
highly used and they will be ahead of the game in any parallel computing
environment.  Be sure to include links to sources of information, too.

Bill Broadley wrote:
> I've been tasked to teach a class in using a beowulf.  I've parallelized a
> few serial fortan codes to use MPI, so I have the technical side covered,
> at least for the 1st quarter.
> Anyone have suggestions for textbooks?  Know of existing class
> outlines available on the web?  Any other pointers?
> I'm considering: Parallel Programming With MPI by Peter Pacheco to
> cover the MPI part, but probably need an additional book on parallel
> algorithms and programming.
> I suspect it's of interest to the list, so please follow up to the list.
> --
> Bill Broadley
> Programmer/Admin
> Mathematics/Institute of Theoretical Dynamics
> University of California, Davis
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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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