[Beowulf] Beowulf communication type of nodes

Nathan Pimental nathansaint1 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 24 12:23:34 PST 2014

Thanks guys. In response to 'Of course "personal computers" is now servers'
which was stated by Douglas, If using servers is now the norm, well I'm
still using PC towers :) This of course, Joe, is the reason I don't have to
worry about Microsoft's policies on using XP on servers, since I am not.
Does it matter if the nodes don't communicate? It seems like most
communication between nodes would be a bottleneck. For example, if I'm
doing A sum function (Like the ones used in pi calculation) which has two
parts, instead of having the nodes communicate for each "part" of the sum,
adding them as they went, one would distribute the calculations, have each
node do a certain number of the parts, then add them at the end. Is that
still parallel cluster-ing?

On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM, Lux, Jim (337C)
<james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov>wrote:

> Jim Lux
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Beowulf [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Joe
> Landman
> Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 8:36 AM
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Beowulf communication type of nodes
> On 02/24/2014 11:03 AM, Nathan Pimental wrote:
> > Could one consider a cluster a beowulf if the nodes obtained their
> > instructions from a hard drive, in a specific location? Or would this
> > be another type of cluster? I have a shared drive, and the master node
> > doles out DLL Libraries (Yes, it's neccisary the system be on windows
> > XP) to the slave nodes, which execute functions in the DLLs. The
> > results are returned as files.
> Windows XP?  Wow ...
> Ok, if you could use Wine to run this, you might get more (or less)
> stability and performance if Linux were a consideration.  As XP isn't
> supported anymore, I am not sure how well things would work with it.
> >> while XP isn't officially supported, using it in a cluster is one of
> those areas where the lack of support is less of an issue.  The usual
> concern is that XP won't be receiving security patches.  In a cluster, the
> nodes are usually isolated from the big open Internet by other means, so
> whether there's some sort of security hole is less of an issue.
> >> I would expect XP to be around for a long, long time.  It's already
> 13-15 years old, and there's an amazing amount of infrastructure out there
> that has XP in it, in some way.   By this time, most of its warts and
> foibles are well known, so it's a pretty stable platform.  Sure, there's
> problems inherent in it, but there's idiosyncracies for any platform.
> Also Microsoft licensing sort of frowns upon using the cheaper versions of
> their products when you could be paying for the higher cost server
> licenses.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Client_access_license .  If
> you don't have that issue solved, running things via Wine starts looking
> very attractive.
> >> yeah, but that's not a Beowulf issue, is it?
> As for the terminology, I don't think many people care so much about which
> OS something is running on, its the concept of leveraging "non-traditional"
> computing resources in such a way as to effect a positive outcome that,
> IMO, defines "beowulfery".  If you can do it without changing your systems
> around, and they are all running windows, go for it.  Nothing wrong (IMO)
> in calling that a "beowulf" though it would be, certainly, a less than
> traditional instantiation of one ...
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