New cluster benchmark proposal (Re: top500 list)

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Tue Nov 18 13:23:13 EST 2003

On Tue, 18 Nov 2003, John Hearns wrote:

> There's a page frpm Paralogic with a packaged set of
> benchmarking tools
> Maybe could be a start to your ideas?

Doug (Eadline) and I have talked about this for years now, and he has
put together a small package that are used for design purposes, I
believe, at paralogic.  Maybe he'll write an article about this himself
in his new mag...:-)

I don't think that they are quite "done", though, (at least the last
time I checked) so yes, I'd call it a "start" to the idea.  Not really
my idea, as you can see.  I think there are lots of folks who have
thought on this, and lots more that have a de facto suite they use
whether or not they are packaged.  lmbench, netpipe, netperf, bonnie,
memtest86 -- lots of tools out there for doing bits of this, some of
them very nice.

cpu_rate (which is available on my own website under the Beowulf link)
is another such tool.  I've no time to work on it just now, but I'm in
midstream on a fairly major rewrite to really separate out the timing
harness and test invocation process so that code snippets can be wrapped
in a standard subroutine pro/epilogue and timed, with correct
subtraction of the subtroutine overhead.  This isn't as easy as you
might think (at least to get consistent results) but when it is finished
cpu_rate should be a highly extensible way to wrap up anything from
microbenchmarks to specific code fragments you want to test.

One day we might even get a little group together at a meeting and kick
around specs for a really nice, full GPL cluster exerciser toolset that
can test, benchmark, and help debug problems with clusters large and


Robert G. Brown	             
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit

More information about the Beowulf mailing list