[Beowulf] Forwarded from a long time reader having trouble posting

Andrew M.A. Cater amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk
Tue Dec 1 16:42:18 EST 2009


On Tue, Dec 01, 2009 at 03:04:32PM -0600, Gerald Creager wrote:
> A combination of mostly kernel improvements, and some useful middleware  
> as RedHat and by extension, CentOS, seek to get farther into the cluster  
> space.
> gerry
>

Maybe also some licensing breaks on large volume licensing. Red Hat is 
primarily a sales and service organisation that also produces a Linux 
by-product :) The HPC variant is targetted at areas which deal in large 
clusters at cheaper than Red Hat Enterprise Linux for servers at 
equivalent volume, IIRC.

> Toon Knapen wrote:
>> Any idea why it gives better performance? Was it on memory bw intensive 
>> apps? Could it be due to changes in the kernel that take into account  
>> the Numa architecture (affinity) or ...
>>
>> On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 8:57 PM, Tom Elken <tom.elken at qlogic.com  
>> <mailto:tom.elken at qlogic.com>> wrote:
>>
>>      > On Behalf Of Gerald Creager
>>      > I've been quite happy with CentOS 5.3 and we're experimenting with
>>      > CentOS 5.4 now.  I see good stability in 5.[34]
>>
>>     I have to second the recommendation of 5.3 or 5.4.

I like 5.2 and 5.4 but my normal experience is on relatively stock IBM 
hardware. As ever, YMMV.

>>      > > Dear all,
>>      > >
>>      > > I've been working on hpux-itanium for the last 2 years (and even
>>      > > unsubscribed to beowulf-ml during most of that time, my bad)
>>     but soon
>>      > > will turn back to a beowulf cluster (HP DL380G6's with Xeon X5570,
>>      > > amcc/3ware 9690SA-8i with 4 x 600GB Cheetah 15krpm). Now I have
>>     a few
>>      > > questions on the config.
>>      > >
>>      > > 1) our company is standardised on RHEL 5.1. Would sticking with
>>     rhel
>>      > 5.1
>>      > > instead of going to the latest make a difference.

Since you have up to date hardware - also check on the necessary version 
of 3Ware drivers and where they are supported. The command line 
utilities are particularly useful.

>>      > > 2) What are the advantages of the hpc version of rhel. I
>>     browsed the
>>      > doc
>>      > > but unless having to compile mpi myself I do not see a
>>     difference or
>>      > did
>>      > > I miss soth.

See above.

>>      > > 3) which filesystem is advisable knowing that we're calculating on
>>      > large
>>      > > berkeley db databases
>>      > >

You get ext3 or Red Hat's cluster filesystem ?? GFS ??, I think. No xfs 
/ Reiser by default. Check also with HP as to what file systems they 
would recommend. 


>>      > > thanks in advance,
>>      > >
>>      > > toon
>>      > >
>>      > > Toon Knapen toon.knapen at gmail.com <mailto:toon.knapen at gmail.com>
>>      > >

Always happy to pontificate :)

All the best,

Andy

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