[Beowulf] SiCortex experience anyone?

Steve Cousins cousins at umit.maine.edu
Tue May 27 15:12:28 EDT 2008

On Tue, 27 May 2008, Mark Hahn wrote:

>>> Does anyone have any experience with SiCortex machines? Any thoughts? They
>>> look cool and they don't use much power but I wonder how they compare to
>>> blade type systems.
> eh?  blade systems are just tweaks for packaging and cable-management.
> I don't believe they have much if any advantage over well-designed
> non-blade hardware.  or did you mean that both blades and sicortex
> are basically boutique approaches, as opposed to fungible/commodity?

I was using the blade example just because of the similarity of having a 
stand-alone system with a single power source.

>>> I know they are not Beowulfs but being distributed
>>> memory machines I figured someone here might have real-world experience with
>>> one.
> I think it's still a beowulf if you apply "the beowulf approach"
> (linux and open-source HPC clustering) to non-commodity hardware.
> we still have a beowulf of Compaq ES40 alphas, for instance.

Great. I'm glad my post was on topic then. My view is that the SiCortex 
machine is not a Beowulf because the term "node" seems to be a chip on the 
same board as all of the other nodes. You can't really add nodes like you 
could add an ES40 to your Compaq Beowulf.  Of course opinions will vary. I 
suppose you could add other SiCortex machines... Can you?

Do you have any experience with them? How easy is it to port code to it? 
Performance characteristics with certain types of code?


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