Miniature Beowulf

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Fri Mar 15 11:18:38 EST 2002


> what are some options for building very small, compact clusters? I'm

both Compaq and Dell sell "small-form-factor" desktops, which are roughly
12x3 in rack surface area (close to 1U, but much shallower.)

this seems fairly attractive for building clusters, since, for instance,
Compaq will preconfigure as you like (no cd, perhaps no disk, PXE boot
on the builtin eepro100) for large orders.  3 year warantee, probably
about 80W dissipation...

of course, you can do pretty much the same thing yourself from commodity
parts - AOpen has a SFF case/PS that would be reliable, and there are 
probably uATX boards with onboard NICs that would net-boot.  doing it
yourself would even let you go AthlonXP rather than P4.

these cases usually take "low-profile" PCI cards; I don't know whether
a gigabit card would fit.  we're looking at them as serial-farm components,
so 100bT would be plenty...

regards, mark hahn.

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