[Beowulf] Erlang as a language for Beowulf applications

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Tue Sep 4 13:56:15 EDT 2007


This language i do not know at all.

However... ...as i can type at a keyboard i'll make the internet a more 
safer place :)

I'd like to react onto this posting, even though this wasn't your question 
nor answers it, apologies for that.

Please realize why people build a cluster.

A cluster is a hard thing to build currently. When it changes in future in 
effort to build a cluster, then obviously the next statement also might 
change; namely that considering the effort it takes to build a cluster (huge 
linux knowledge needed) and the huge price of running a cluster (consider 
not only the price of the cluster itself but also the running costs, 
systemadministration and so on), that it's kind of pathetic to run 
applications at such a cluster that can't get the maximum out of the 
software.

So anything in C#, JAVA that is doing number crunching on such a cluster, is 
basically a total waste of money, as you could have saved tons of money in 
that case by making a smaller cluster.

Additionally a cluster outdates very quickly. Within a year or 2 you already 
must start upgrading to a new cluster. So those tons of money that a cluster 
has as a cost price,
you keep spending.

In short having software that is as low level as possible, makes sense to 
have. Having low level software, means you usually also have a capable 
person of parallellizing that application using the fastest communication 
technology that you have available. Usually that will be MPI of course.

So there is not many advantages in supporting other languages than C, C++ 
and MPI for clusters.

Of course if something would be interesting to make, then it is a shared 
memory model,
as that's the only thing real interesting at a cluster to have.

Any other language will always suffer from inferior compiler technology.

That said, things might change of course, when it gets cheaper to build a 
cluster and easier to set it up.

I currently don't see microsofts cluster technology as 'real easy'.

Vincent
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "H.Vidal, Jr." <hvidal at tesseract-tech.com>
To: <Beowulf at beowulf.org>
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2007 10:46 PM
Subject: [Beowulf] Erlang as a language for Beowulf applications


> Hello.
>
> I have been exploring a range of technologies for parallel
> applications, some production-level, some experimental.
>
> I am curious if anyone on this list has done any work
> with the language Erlang and/or considers it viable
> for scientific apps. It seems to be quite mature, has
> well developed 'process' based semantics with intrinsic message
> passing, is light-weight for multi-process creation,
> support application-level fault tolerance (quite applicable
> for failures in long computations...)
> and is production level, though not well known in the US.
>
> Any comments?
>
> hv
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