A small little survey

Jim Windle jim_windle at eudoramail.com
Thu Jun 21 16:11:43 EDT 2001


Please do post a summary of your results to the list.  Speaking as a newbie, it would be very helpful to see how people have dealt with the questions on your survey and to get an idea about the range of sizes of the clusters people are using.

Jim Windle 
--

On Thu, 21 Jun 2001 10:20:02   Jared Hodge wrote:
>Ok, I've got a bit of a problem and I need everyone's help (everyone who
>is running a cluster at least).  We are considering buying a cluster,
>but we need to stick with proven hardware.  We've been considering using
>the supermicro 370DLE motherboard with 1 GHz PIII processors (1 per
>board) and Myrinet 2000.  Our cluster will probably consist of 16 nodes
>and one server.  I'm wanting to get responses from people who have
>similar and/or very different configurations (AMD chips, ethernet
>only).  We will be using our cluster for finite element analysis, and
>our current cluster consists of 8 PII 350s plus server and we are using
>a 32 bit 33 Mhz PCI interface with the older Myrinet (1.2 Gbps max - not
>really half that with 32 bit PCI).  Personally I'm wanting to explore
>the possibility of getting AMD chips but I'm told it's not a "proven
>technology."  I would like to get a mass of responses from people who
>are running clusters for scientific research and find out what
>technologies are proven.  I'm personally not biased either way, but I
>just want the most performance and reliability for the money.  I know
>that the following questions are very vague, but I need responses from
>people who have used the hardware and can share their experience.  Feel
>free to add comments.  Please answer any or all of the questions in a
>reply to me (you can reply and remove beowulf at beowulf.org as a recipient
>since I don't think everyone wants to hear all of the responses).  I'll
>summarize the responses in a mailing back to the list at a later time if
>it is appropriate.
>
>
>The questions:
>
>What is your hardware setup (processor, motherboard, network, etc.)?
>
>Did you have any problems with the hardware or configuration?  What is
>your evaluation of the cause and solution?
>
>Are you pleased with the performance and reliability of your cluster? 
>Please explain.
>
>Assuming you have a limited budget (that should be everyone), what
>recommendations would you have concerning cluster hardware?
>
>What has been your experience with the following hardware and financial
>tradeoffs (assuming you've had some experience with them)?
>Intel vs. AMD processors:
>SCSI vs. EIDE disks:
>Myrinet vs. Ethernet only vs. other network technologies:
>Server level hardware (such as the supermicro 370DLE motherboard) vs
>workstation level hardware:
>
>
>Thanks for your help.
>-- 
>Jared Hodge
>Institute for Advanced Technology
>The University of Texas at Austin
>3925 W. Braker Lane, Suite 400
>Austin, Texas 78759
>
>Phone: 512-232-4460
>Fax: 512-471-9096
>Email: Jared_Hodge at iat.utexas.edu
>
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