beowulf in space

Eray Ozkural exa at kablonet.com.tr
Tue Apr 15 19:13:34 EDT 2003


On Tuesday 15 April 2003 19:36, Robert G. Brown wrote:
> SO although I'm certain that they use clusters on spacecraft in at least
> one sense of the word, I'm equally certain that they are NOT beowulfs,
> according to the standard definition.

In my mind, the real difficulty comes from not the costs but the exotic and 
diverse nature of hardware. This might even more conceivably link up with the 
"grid computing" idea. If I had such a heterogeneous network, and I needed to 
make some high-perf. computation, could I simply submit it to a grid system 
that would automatically reconfigure the computation for optimal performance, 
etc.? I'm thinking something like a space vessel being able to take advantage 
of all general-purpose processors on-board and in sufficiently close 
proximity (like say a space station). The problem abstractly not too 
different from a university campus with a lot of motley computer labs and 
unpredictable network setups (ie. dynamic nodes, network topology, so forth).

Thus, I think it's more of a software problem. Can you really build "the" high 
performance platform that successfully and completely abstracts the 
OS/network/CPU? What would be needed for such a thing? (I'm not thinking 
'Java', that's slow, thank you) Such software is surely in line with Beowulf 
thinking.

Thanks,

-- 
Eray Ozkural (exa) <erayo at cs.bilkent.edu.tr>
Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara  KDE Project: http://www.kde.org
www: http://www.cs.bilkent.edu.tr/~erayo  Malfunction: http://mp3.com/ariza
GPG public key fingerprint: 360C 852F 88B0 A745 F31B  EA0F 7C07 AE16 874D 539C

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