Cluster hardware: comments,recommendations, and criticisms

Martin Siegert siegert at sfu.ca
Thu Oct 18 13:51:09 EDT 2001


On Thu, Oct 18, 2001 at 08:56:08AM -0400, Steve Gaudet wrote:
> Hello Denby,
> 
> > I'm helping put together a rack-mounted cluster (around 30 nodes) and
> > came up with the following hardware.  This is largely for
> > compute-bound scientific applications.  I'd appreciate your comments,
> > recommendations, and criticism on it.  Higher bandwidth/lower latency
> > interconnect is not economically feasible at the moment.
> >
> > Thanks in advance,
> > Denby
> >
> >
> > =====================================================================
> > Switches:
> > =========
> >
> > Cisco 3548 XL (stackable)
> >       48 port 10/100 RJ-45; 2 GBIC based Gig ports
> 	^^^^^  *** good switch ****
> 
> Competitive Products are:
> 
> 3Com: SuperStack 3 Switch 3300, 3900, and 9300
> HP: ProCurve 2524, 2424M, 4000, 8000  (also a very good switch)
> Nortel: BayStack 450T Switches

Also: Enterasys Vertical Horizon 4802 (48 port stand-alone switch).

> > Main node:
> > ============
> >
> > Dual AMD AthlonMP 1.2GHz cpu's (2)
> > Tyan Tiger Motherboard (s2420)
> >
> > 2 Heatsinks and fans: Tai-Sol CGK742092
>                         ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ we use Thermaltake Volcano 6cu,
> 7,000rpm

You may want to consider Alpha heatsinks/fans PEP66. That fan mounts to the
side of the heatsink. We found that this is by far superior to fans that
mount on the top of the heatsink in a 2U case (our processor temperature
is about 40C).

> > 2 Sticks of 512 MB ECC PC2100 DDR RAM (1 GB reg) Promise
>               ^^^^^^ make sure its a x64 chip, from either Samsung or Nanya,
> only vendors qualified.
> 
> > Linksys 400W Power Supply (POW-400-EL)
> 
> Zippy makes a 435w

We use that Zippy power supply without any problems (so far).
On the other hand, we are using the Thunder K7 for which AMD specifies
a 460W power supply (I heard that 100W of the 460W are reserved for the
AGP slot. If you don't use that you can get away with less). Also: does
the Tiger use standard ATX power connectors? If yes, all the P/S for the
Thunder K7 won't work - including the Zippy.

> > Adaptec SCSI card - 19160 ultra160 scsi card
> > Seagate 36.7 GB SCSI harddrive ST336705LW
> >
> > ATI Radeon 64MB SDRAM AGP video card
> > Sony 1.44 Floppy
> > Acer 56X cdrom CD656A
> > 2 3com 3c905c 10/100Mb ethernet card
> > Viewsonic E95 19inch 18VIS .26MM
> >
> >
> > Compute nodes:
> > ==============
> >
> > 2 AMD AthlonMP 1.2 GHz CPU
> > 1 Tyan Tiger mainboard (s2420)
> > 2 Heatsinks and fans: Tai-Sol CGK742092
> > 2 512 MB Stick of ECC DDR PC2100 RAM (1GB reg) Promise
> > 1 Seagate 20GB 7200 rpm UDMA 100 harddrive (ST320414A)
> > 1 utility video card (pci)
> > 1 Sony 1.44 Floppy
> > 1 3com 3c905c 10/100Mb ethernet card
> >
> >
> > 1 2U chassis: Rackmountpro     RM2U2066-P300W
> >    - includes 3 chassis fans and 3 slot PCI riser card
> >    - includes 300W power supply, fan monitor
> 
> I believe the power supply is inadequate. After looking at Rackmountpro's
> web site noticed they have a dual Tyan offering and also use a Zippy
> P2U6435P-AMD PS.  Does Rackmountpro support a 300w on a dual AMD?
> 
> Might want to take a look at Ci-Design RS2100 with a Zippy P2U6435P-AMD PS
> its been qualified for the Tyan dual AMD offerings.  Another chassis
> offering is from AIC, again designed specifically for the Tyan dual AMD.
> 
> ** Might want to add in an additional chassis cooling fan.  This resides in
> a open PCI slot and will pull the air warm through the back of the case
> reducing internal heat. **

Cheers,
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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