Reliability of Beowulf

Mark Hahn hahn at
Mon Sep 16 10:44:18 PDT 2002

> server with no problems. Also what about the 12Gb RAM MSI motherboards?

the amount of ram you can stick in a board depends mainly on the 
chipset, not the label on the board.  it's generally not possible
to put much more than a few GB ram into desktop-type boards simply
because the chipsets don't support more than, say, 6 rows of ram.
it's no surprise that board-makers also tend not to put many dimm
slots in them, either, considering that the market is still averaging
well under 1G/system.

but not all chipsets/motherboards are for desktops - Intel and serverworks
both make chipsets that scale much higher.  so there's no real problem
sticking >4G ram in a box if you want.  but ia32 is inherently limited
to 32b address spaces for each process.

but the real answer is: beowulf and clusters in general, do not 
share address space.  at some point, if you want to use lots of ram,
you MUST move to a message-passing interface.  and that's what most
Beowulf clusters use.

> > Is this true that Beowulf provides only parallel
> > processing jobs but it does not tackle a huge problem
> > such a big array requirement/management? We have to
> > turn to supercomputer again. 

the issue is only whether you require shared memory or not.
if you do, then yes, you are going to be paying huge bucks.

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