ideal motherboard for diskless beowulf

John Hearns jhearns at
Tue Jun 17 04:08:22 EDT 2003

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert G. Brown" <rgb at>
To: "kolokoutsas konstantinos" <k_kolokoutsas at>
Cc: <beowulf at>
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2003 6:36 PM
Subject: Re: ideal motherboard for diskless beowulf

> >
> > This beowulf will be dedicated to running one
> > particular Monte Carlo particle acceleration code
> > already running within RH7.2 and quite dependant on it
> > in many ways, thus the RH7.2 criterium.
> I'm sorry, how is that?
>   a) Can't you just recompile under 7.3 or for that matter 9?

You could, yes.
However, HEP applications are linked with big libraries - such as the GEANT
codes and the CERNLIBS.
What happens is that there is a certification process, which checks out that
the codes run on a certain version of (say) Redhat.
However, the current certified version at CERN is 7.3, no?

> >
> > The micro-atx form factor is of interest because "I
> > was given the challenge..." of putting as many
> > motherboards in one customized full tower box as
> > possible. Dual/Quad CPU motherboards are not an
> > option, while due to portability issues, racks are out
> > of the question.

Kostas, if you are within reach of London you are welcome to have a look at
the mini-ITX boards I have.
I would be happy to help put the CERN environment on them and see how they
run your codes.
You certainly could make an easily portable cluster with these boards.
(I am a paricle physicist, so do understand some of this stuff!)

If you have a budget, there are boards using the same CPU which fit into
the slots for a hard disk drive.
That would fit your tower rack configuration - just get a full tower case,
ordinary motherboard for the 'head' CPU, and populate all the drive bays
with CPUs.
You then use a small Ethernet switch to connect them.
Again, I would be happy to help and advise on the boards, and helping get
the Monte Carlo
codes up and running.

John Hearns

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