Alpha beowulf: True64 or Linux?

Martin Siegert siegert at sfu.ca
Thu Feb 1 17:27:11 EST 2001


We are in the planning stages of setting up a small Alpha cluster.
One of the questions that came up is: should we use True64 or Linux?
Now I don't need any flame wars here, but serious arguments.
You don't even have to convince me (I probably have to run the thing.
Since I am familiar with Linux and I'll continue to support our
Pentium based cluster, Linux just means less work - which is one good
argument, but I need more than that).

Thus:
- are there performance differences?
- software availability? I heard that Compaq's development suite (compilers,
  debuggers, etc.) is available on both platforms. What about scientific
  libraries, etc.
- my guess is that both OS are fully 64bit OS (files > 2GB, etc.).
  How about the compilers? Can I have 128bit precision for floating point
  operations?
- if we buy 4 processor smp boxes: How is the support under either OS?
  (OpenMP, etc.)
- How good is the smp performance (i.e., is it worth it in comparison to
  myrinet?)?
- what other pros and cons?

I'd appreciate all comments and remarks that'll help me to come to a
decision one way or the other.

Thanks.

Martin

========================================================================
Martin Siegert
Academic Computing Services                        phone: (604) 291-4691
Simon Fraser University                            fax:   (604) 291-4242
Burnaby, British Columbia                          email: siegert at sfu.ca
Canada  V5A 1S6
========================================================================

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