[Beowulf] Begginer questions
brian.dobbins at yale.edu
Sat Aug 6 21:41:17 EDT 2005
As you'll find as you learn more and more about Beowulf systems,
there's always more than one way to do things. Some people make really
powerful head (or 'master') nodes because it's necessary - lots of
users, all compiling codes, or doing I/O through NFS on the head node.
Other people have a head node for a small number of people who just use
it for job submission and status checking, in which case a really
powerful system isn't necessary.
For you, if you're new to this and plan on developing parallel codes,
you might want to ask yourself if having a 2.0 Ghz P4 will cut down on
your development time for compiling, etc. If so, sure, put that as the
head node. With simple codes, though, this really won't make a big
difference, and I'd probably put the P3 900 Mhz system as the head, so
*running* your codes will be faster. As a plus, the closer in speed all
the compute nodes are, the more directly you can partition the work - in
other words you don't need to be as aware of the speed differences for
synchronizing steps in a parallel code.
Most important of all, is just to try things out and give it a shot -
learn as much as you can, and then try new things. To that end, I'd
definitely suggest trying to put in the other network cards and doing
channel bonding... even if it doesn't help your codes run faster, you'll
still have learned something more, right?
In short: either way is fine, just give it a shot and having done it
once, you'll then know what works best for *you*. :-)
Best of luck,
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