[Beowulf] Simple Cluster

Gerry Creager N5JXS gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Mon Dec 15 11:01:23 EST 2003


The flames come sometimes... And in today's world, where a high end box 
can outperform a small, low-power cluster, it's often hard to separate 
the flames from significant help/tips.

My first cluster was 7 66 MHz 486's, and it was done as a proof of 
concept project.  I demonstrated that I could improve performance with 
the cluster over a single machine doing serialized processing of 
geodetic data.  Note that it was still faster to run the code serially 
on a dual-processor Pentium 266 with more memory than any of the nodes 
in the cluster...  But it proved the point and was a valid academic 
exercise.

Now you're ready to try code on a little cluster, and gain some 
programming skills.  After that, you're ready to build something bigger 
and more capable.

Good luck!
Gerry

Ranjit Chagar wrote:
> Hi robert/jim,
> 
> Well I built a cluster just for the hell of it. And as you said, before the
> flames start, it was built just to see what I could do, built from cheap
> PCs, just for the fun of it. They are 133Mhz PII and I built mine following
> the instructions from pondermatic. Okay, so in this day and age that is old
> hat, and so is my system but I enjoyed building it and enjoy playing around
> with it. And then, being stupid myself, I wrote out instructions so that I
> could did it again cause I will be the first to admit my memory isn't that
> good.
> 
> Full details at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ranjit.chagar/
> 
> Robert - if you have any questions let me know.
> 
> Jim - I dont mean for this email to sound bad but my english sometimes is
> taken wrong. I mean to say that you can do it if you want.
> 
> Best Regards, Ranjit
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jim Lux" <james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov>
> To: <rmd003 at sympatico.ca>
> Cc: <beowulf at beowulf.org>
> Sent: Friday, December 12, 2003 3:32 PM
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Simple Cluster
> 
> 
> 
>>Sure you can do it. It won't be a ball of fire speed wise, and probably
>>wouldn't be a cost effective solution to doing any "real work", but it
> 
> will
> 
>>compute..
>>
>>Search the web for the "Pondermatic" which, as I recall, was a couple or
>>three P1s.  And of course, very early clusters were made with 486's.
>>
>>Your big challenge is probably going to be (easily) getting an appropriate
>>distribution that fits within the disk and RAM limits.  Yes, before all
> 
> the
> 
>>flames start, I know it's possible to make a version that fits in 16K on
> 
> an
> 
>>8088, and that would be bloatware compared to someone's special 6502 Linux
>>implementation that runs on old Apple IIs, etc.etc.etc., but nobody would
>>call that easy.  What Robert is probably looking for is a "stick the CDROM
>>in and go" kind of solution, and, just like in the Windows world, the
>>current, readily available (as in download the ISO and go) solutions tend
> 
> to
> 
>>assume one has a vintage 2001 computer sitting around with a several
> 
> hundred
> 
>>MHz processor and 64MB of RAM, etc.
>>
>>Actually, I'd be very glad to hear that this is not the case..
>>
>>Maybe one of the old Scyld "cluster on a disk" might be a good way?
>>
>>Perhaps Rocks?  It sort of self installs.
>>
>>One could always just boot 4 copies of Knoppix, but I don't know that
>>there's many "cluster management" tools in Knoppix.
>>
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: <rmd003 at sympatico.ca>
>>To: <beowulf at beowulf.org>
>>Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 2:14 PM
>>Subject: [Beowulf] Simple Cluster
>>
>>
>>
>>>Hello,
>>>
>>>Would anyone know if it is possible to make a cluster with four P1
>>>computers? If it is possible are there any instructions on how to do
>>>this or the software required etc...?
>>>
>>>Robert Van Amelsvoort
>>>rmd003 at sympatico.ca
>>>
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>>>Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
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>>http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf
>>
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-- 
Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Network Engineering -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.847.8578
Page: 979.228.0173
Office: 903A Eller Bldg, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

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