[Beowulf] Opteron/Athlon Clustering

Gerry Creager N5JXS gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Sun Jun 6 00:47:57 EDT 2004


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?

Robert G. Brown wrote:
> On Fri, 4 Jun 2004, Jonathan Michael Nowacki wrote:
> 
> 
>>  A couple of questions.  Is it possible to have a cluster of Athlons and
>>a cluster of Opterons and use them as a whole for 32 bit computing and use
>>the Opterons separately for 64 bit computing?  We currently are using 37
>>Athlons running Rocks(Linux) and PBS (Portable Batch Systems), and are
>>currently looking into buying a cluster of Opterons.
> 
> 
> In principle yes, but see the recent list archives for discussion of
> library issues -- you have to install a spanning set of 32 bit libraries
> in addition to the default 64 bit libraries and maybe some more stuff.
> Also, they will likely run code at different speeds, so load balancing a
> job distributed on the two architectures may be tricky, although for
> batch style computing that may not matter.
> 
> 
>>Also, the people I work for are very wary about buying anything from
>>anybody but big name companies like Dell, Compaq/HP, SGI, and IBM.  They
>>are worried about total cost of ownership if something breaks.  The only
>>problem is none of these companies sells rack-mount Opterons.  What is a
>>good company to buy rack-mount (dual and quad) Opterons from?
> 
> 
> Penguin sold me mine; so far they have proven pretty good.  I've got
> them all solidly loaded right now.  I think that there are a bunch of
> companies, many of them (like penguin) very much linux-centric, that
> sell rackmount dual opterons.

We bought ours from Appro.  It's not the first cluster on our campus 
from them.  Delivery, setup were timely and well-handled.  Can't speak 
to service yet: Nothing has failed that I'm aware of.

Gerry
-- 
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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