[Beowulf] Three questions on a new Beowulf Cluster

John P. Kosky, PhD jpkosky at sps.aero
Fri Feb 22 10:50:18 EST 2008


My company is taking it's first foray into the world of HPC with an 
expandable architecture, 16 processor (comprised of quad core Opterons), 
one header node cluster using Infiniband interconnects. OS has 
tentatively been selected as SUSE 64-bit Linux. The principal purpose of 
the cluster is as a tool for spacecraft and propulsion design support. 
The cluster will therefore be running the most recent versions of 
commercially available software - initially for FEA and CFD using COMSOL 
Multiphysics and associated packages, NASTRAN, MatLab modules, as well 
as an internally modified and expanded commercial code for materials 
properties prediction,with emphasis on polymer modeling (Accelrys 
Materials Studio). Since we will be repetitively running standard 
modeling codes on this system, we are trying to make the system as user 
friendly as possible... most of our scientists and engineers want to use 
this as a tool, and not have to become cluster experts. The company WILL 
be hiring an IT Sys Admin with good cluster experience to support the 
system, however...

Question 1:
1) Does anyone here know of any issues that have arisen running the 
above named commercial packages on clusters using infiniband?

Question 2:
2) As far as the MPI for the system is concerned, for the system and 
application requirements described above, would OpenMPI or MvApich be 
better for managing node usage?

ANY help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

John

John P. Kosky, PhD
Director of Technical Development
Space Propulsion Systems



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