[Beowulf] SMPs + One processor machines = Heterogeneous Cluster

richard.walsh at comcast.net richard.walsh at comcast.net
Wed Apr 2 07:14:17 PDT 2008

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From: "Cally K" <kalpana0611 at gmail.com> 

I am dealing with heterogeneous cluster in my research. I am a novice when it comes to networking, and have only been around with cluster for about a year. Anyway, from my previous question, and after doing some reading, can I say that dual cores and quad cores are known as SMPs.?

Strictly speaking an SMP system is one in which a number of identical processing units have identical access to the same common memory space.  Sometimes, the identities are imperfect with respect to the path to an arbitrary memory address (the cc-NUMA-ness of Opteron systems).  SMP has nothing to do with cores per se.  A dual socket, uni-core processor system with identical paths to the same memory is an SMP.  

And would 1 say that, a cluster that has machines with 1 processor ( etc. Pentium 4 )and 2 SMPS( it can be quad or dual ) but all belonging to one family ( intel for example ) -- can I say that the cluster is a heterogeneous cluster.

Again you invoke the relative concept of identity.  The processor in this case are different enough to deserve the heterogeneous label, but they are each running versions of the x86 instruction set and therefore are more similar than say the PowerPC and SPE processor cores on the IBM Cell chip, which is clearly a heterogeneous processor.  You are asking about clusters though, and this considers the question at the level of the node.  A heterogeneous cluster needs really only to have substantially different nodes in its ranks to be considered heterogeneous.  The notion of identity has meaning only when one knows the scope of the problem/question being considered.




"Making predictions is hard, especially about the future." 

Niels Bohr 


Richard Walsh 
Thrashing River Consulting-- 
5605 Alameda St. 
Shoreview, MN 55126 

Phone #: 612-382-4620
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