[Beowulf] Opteron/Athlon Clustering

Sean Dilda agrajag at dragaera.net
Tue Jun 8 13:12:10 EDT 2004


On Sun, 2004-06-06 at 00:47, Gerry Creager N5JXS wrote:
> I've been playing with my Appro 16 node dual Opteron cluster.  If you 
> load a 64 bit OS (say, SuSE in 64 bit mode), it's a 64 bit system, 
> unless you do some interesting things to make it operaate in 32-bit mode.
> 
> If you load a 32-bit kernel and OS it's a 32 bit system.  But, why?

You're missing some key functionality here.  If you load a 64-bit
version of Linux on it, then install some 32-bit software (assuming you
have the 32-bit libraries installed as well), then it will be able to
run the 32-bit software right next to the 64-bit software.  What's more,
it runs it as speeds that in some cases are faster than competing Xeon
and Athlon chips.

Why's this so great?  Unfortunately, some proprietary non-open-source
code is still used for serious computation.  But if you have all
athlons, people can compile their own 64-bit code and run it on the same
machine as someone who's running a proprietary 32-bit piece of code.

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