[Beowulf] Flashmobcomputing

Karl Podesta kpodesta at redbrick.dcu.ie
Mon Feb 23 13:45:44 EST 2004

On Mon, Feb 23, 2004 at 12:37:25PM +0100, John Hearns wrote:
> http://www.flashmobcomputing.org/
> It might be worth a bit of a debate though.
> Given that this cluster will be composed of differing CPUs,
> and conneced together by 100Mbps links will it really have chance
> of getting into the Top 500?
> The bootable CF they are using is a Knoppix variant.

It seems a bit loose or unfair to suggest a project like this 'registers'
for the top500 list? It's a once-off, temporary system, dedicated (seemingly)
to nothing but qualification to the list. They say in the FAQ that if the
system proves itself, it could potentially be used for bigger problems, 
which is a noble idea - but they obviously don't read the beowulf list often
("it all depends on the application", etc.) :-)

Additionally, a flashmob system would have a limited shelf-life, before
the owners want to take their computers home. Distributed projects
like SETI at home and Folding at home etc. have been running for years...

I'm not familiar with the entry rules to the top500, but to be fair to 
existing, dedicated installations - they would have a certain 'reliability'
in terms of their existence. If you needed to perform a serious calculation 
to a scale of 36 TFLOPS etc., then you know that there is a system that
can do it. They might want to be critical of how sustainable the result from 
the Flashmob is, if they wanted to 'call' on it's power at any particular
time in the future. (whoops, it was raining today, that's 10 TFLOPS down 
the drain...). Pardon the pun.

Karl Podesta
Dublin City University, Ireland 
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