Site News

News about site issues lives here. Contests, updates, poll results, and you name it show up in this category. We'll also keep you informed about our public appearances so you can camp out the night before to be the first in line.

Yo Head Monkey, Where Are the Articles?

From the "hello is anybody in there" department

A good question. The short answer is "not quite done." As editor, I have been busy on two fronts: co-authoring a new book on Hadoop 2 and YARN and the Limulius Project. The book should be out in March and there will be Cluster Monkey coverage of how Hadoop 2 can play nice with things other than MapReduce. On the Limulus front, an Intel i7 Limulus now is a hair's breath away from half a TFLOPS of HPL performance (498.3 GFLOPS). That is double precision CPU FLOPS, not GPU FLOPS. These systems perform with a record breaking $15.55/GFLOPS and 0.83 Watts/GFLOPS -- next to your desk!

Welcome to the New Cluster Monkey

Faster, better, cheaper, and hopefully not too broken

In case you have not noticed, we look different. There have been massive upgrades in the monkey kingdom. The front end is new and hopefully faster -- the template name was afterburner so it better be fast. And, because we are technical monkeys we kept the clean simple look with the focus on good content. To that end, we have tried to keep article presentation dense and clean (i.e. you can read more than two short paragraphs before hitting the next page button). The front page now has most of the widget type things on the left and content links on the right including the latest and popular articles links, a poll, and syndicated links to popular sites and blogs. As with our previous format, the  stories are in the middle. We also are thankful to our sponsors who support us in keeping the banner advertisements to a minimum.

The backend server and delivery platform (Joomla) have been upgraded as well. Overall things should work much more smoothly and allow us to offer more features (see below). Unfortunately there were a few glitches with the upgrade. Content was automatically converted and it seems most of it came through just fine. We could not transfer the old comments, howerver. As  time permits we will attempt to manually copy them from the old site. The polls also had problems and we need to write a script to convert to the current polling platform (or we may just archive some screen shots of the old poll results). Similarly a picture display module needs to be upgraded so we can recover some Beobash snapshots.

Overall, things went better than expected and the new hardware and software have put us in a good position for growth. Speaking of which, we are planing some new things. First, more content is in the works as well as some new features. Later this year we will be starting a monthly newsletter presenting technical webinars (free) to site subscribers (sign-up now on the left). We have a few other ideas we want to try out as well.

Our goal is to provide open quality cluster and High Performance Computing (HPC) information to our readers. We hope that the information generates discussion and conversation within the HPC community and enables users, administrators, and managers to benefit from the art and science of  HPC clustering.

Take The New Poll On HPC Cloud

Insert silly Cloud metaphor here

Cloud seems to be all the buzz right now. So what are you plans for Cloud HPC? Let everyone know by clicking to the right. The previous poll was Are you using GPUs for your applications? We had 138 responses and the leading answer was "Want to try but don't know how to get started." This result could be due to the programming barrier presented by GP-GPUs. It seems 33% of the total respondents had moderate or great success with GP-GPU. Interestingly, 21% just want "cores not GPU." If the "don't know how to get started" crowd were removed, then we have 81 remaining respondents. Of those 57% (46) had general success with GPU. The remaining respondents ("little success with GPUs" and "want cores") totaled 43% (35) and can be assumed outside the GPU camp. Thus, a simple conclusion, GPU seems to be working for over half the HPC market. Of course this conclusion is a guess. Consult professionals for better results.

The new poll, to the right, asks What are your plans for external Cloud HPC . Finally, we have many other poll topics that you may find interesting. Past polls and other links to surveys can be found on our Survey and Poll page. As always, these are not scientific polls. The results are always kind of cloudy.

Hey You, Take The New Poll

Contribute your opinion and be rewarded with knowledge (or not)

Let's have a new poll. I just closed the previous poll, How would you use a 48 core PC (4P with 12 core Magny-Cours) next to your desk? . The response was good. Almost forty percent of the respondents said "I would run all my applications on this machine (both parallel and sequential)," while twenty two percent responded with "I would use both this machine and a big cluster for my applications." Not surprising based on my previous survey on numbers of cores. About 15% said it depends on the details.

The new poll is on Are you using GPUs for your applications? is return to a previous poll (Are you using/considering GPU accelerated applications?) I am curious to see how much uptake there has been over the past two years.

Finally, we have many other poll topics that you may find interesting. Past polls and other links to surveys can be found on our Survey and Poll page. As always, these are not scientific polls. Were just monkeying around.

What Not to Read on ClusterMonkey

From the "other" department

First things first, I put up a new poll. For me, it an intriguing question that reflects a shift in technology: How would you use a 48 core PC (4P with 12 core Magny-Cours) next to your desk? Does ti mean the end to your cluster use? While you are at it, you may want to think about what you would do with 16 cores under your desk? By the end of the year many people will start making this decision with their wallets. As always, past ClusterMonkey polls can be found here.

Now for a bit of shameless self promotion.

I have been writing quite a lot about clusters and HPC, but it has not landed on ClusterMonkey! Not to worry, I have plenty of ClusterMonkey exclusive content in the pipeline. So what do I recommend? Well, let's start with two articles at HPC Community:

  • The Ethernet Cluster - discusses some issues and standards for the upcoming 10 GigE cluster. Yes, there will be 10 GigE clusters, lot's of them.
  • The Cluster Decade - provides a retrospective for the last ten years and discusses why clusters steam rolled everything in sight (almost), but still have challenges.

Moving over to Linux Magazine, I usually write a column each week, but the other week I wrote one I think everyone should read. I'll give you a hint it is about toasters, no HPC needed. If you want to keep abreast of what I write on Linux Magazine sign up for the HPC newsletter.

And finally, I don't know if mentioned it here previously, but I am on twitter. I'm probably the worst at posting things to twitter, so if you do the twit thing, you can read for my low frequency tweets about new articles or news I find particularly interesting (and nothing about my social life, that should tell you something)


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