[Beowulf] What now?
hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Wed Aug 18 08:43:12 EDT 2004
> I'm sorry to ask a question like this, but I'm seriously stuck. I'ver
> installed MPI just because the idea of clustering excites me. But...
> what now? What do all of you "veteran" Beowulf people do with yours? I
> mean, are there GPL/etc packages, or code that anyone knows of? Mabye
there are lots, but generally so specialized that they'd be of little
interest outside the field. for instance, a number of my users run
a cosmo code called "Flash", but unless you're in the field, it's not
going to be very rewarding to run.
> primes, anything. (I tried to write some small things, but it's going to
> take me many more months before I can effectivly design an efficient
> program to utilize MPI)
anyone with moderate serial programming skill should be able to pick up
MPI basics in a couple days. I believe that MPI is daunting to beginners
mainly because it's such a fat interface, and people think that they need
to use one-sided comms, collectives, non-blocking stuff all in their first
program. (C++ is quite similar - easy and safe if you don't bother with
the more fringe features.)
primes are a good one. a mandelbrot set zoomer is fairly rewarding.
I was toying with writing a nice password cracker just this morning.
all are great examples of extremely data-parallel, loosely-coupled
applications that should be easy to scale for a beginner. mandelbrot
is kind of nice because it provides a segue into meshes and refinement.
note that there are tutorials freely available on the net that cover
some of these already...
another one would be a software-only, MPI-based parallel 3d renderer -
that would even have lots of practical application (display walls,
avoiding giant cheques to SGI ;)
regards, mark hahn.
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