[Beowulf] Re: Finally, a solution for the 64 core 4TB RAM market
gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Fri May 29 09:21:38 EDT 2009
Mark Hahn wrote:
>>> I would guess that most people who currently have clusters would
>>> rather get bigger/faster/cooler clusters, rather than go to SMP,
>>> unless for some
>>> reason they have a fixed problem size. possible, I guess.
>> We intentionally built one cluster recently as a throughput system,
>> with slow (ok, gigabit) interconnect, while the latest is "HPC" with
>> DDR IB interconnect.
>> We have throughput users (most jobs run on a single node, and can take
>> advantage of the node's memory footprint). A number of these are SMP
>> or SMP-lite. Did I mention computational chemistry?
> sure - we have >3k users and lots of all these categories as well
> (and have also specialized our clusters). but the point is that
> 8-socket fat nodes are going to be more expensive; traditionally
> nonlinearly more expensive. current 4s boxes are more than 2x 2s cost.
I don't support 3k users (yet, things are heating up). I see a
particular need for some specialized cluster implementations, but I also
see where a well-orchestrated mixed-use cluster of sufficient size can
accommodate a lot of folks (Ranger comes to mind in a favorable light).
I don't see 8-socket nodes offering much real-world help to my task,
but I can see them offering, perhaps, an interesting desktop cluster
development environment for someone... or I could almost see a small
proto-cluster of 'em for isolating development runs for users, who
could, after successful testing, transfer working codes to a "real"
cluster for normal use. I do something similar on an old x86_64 cluster
I've kept around against my boss' wishes. It means I can develop
without interfering with other users, occasionally crash the whole thing
with impunity, etc. More efficient if I had 4 h-node machines, than it
> having fewer nodes is also a value, but mainly only if you wind up with
> single-digit numbers of nodes - if you're wrangling a cluster, it hardly
> matters whether it's 200 or 400 nodes. (again, fat nodes have not
> historically saved on power or space - at least not proportionally.)
>> We also have some folk interested in map-reduce, but I've not been
>> able to accommodate them just yet.
> yes, us too. what are your thoughts on the kind of config that would suit
> them - just the google sort of layout? (gigabit, I suppose. probably
> dual-socket, with however many 2G dimms will fit, and a couple large
> local disks)
That's the direction I'm proceeding, but honestly, my real thoughts are
"NO!" for use on a general purpose cluster. I'm bringing up Hadoop On
Demand, slowly, and I think it'll end up either as a rarely used app, or
as a horrid waste of cluster resources. I actually think it's a great
app for a cluster of workstations, say, in a student lab after hours.
>> Depends on your mix of users.
> I still think the market for 64c machines is relatively small.
Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.862.3983
Office: 1700 Research Parkway Ste 160, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843
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