The Beowulf Project web site is
The Beowulf Project was started at
at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
in early 1994.
In the summer of 1994 the first Beowulf 16 node cluster was
The project quickly spread to other NASA sites, other R&D labs
and to universities around the world.
There are about 100 clusters listed on the Beowulf home page and many other
Gordon Bell sponsored a
$10K Computer challenge.
What do we mean by cost-effective?
Assume you need to do a lot of computation and need to get it done
inexpensively rather than in the shortest time. You also can run more than
one job at a time. Note: this is not like weather prediction, where being
able to run seven one-day predictions that each take seven days is not
very useful. For weather you must exceed a specific minimal speed that will
let you predict tomorrow's weather from current conditions.
Cost model is based on capital expenditure for hardware. A more sophisticated
model would include maintenance, electricity, cooling, floorspace, etc.
Know the bottlenecks and requirements of your problem
Design for the sweet spot (Note: the sweet spot changes with time, and may
depend on problem.)
Design for total system cost effectiveness
Benchmark as much as you can before deciding on a design
What's in a Node? (next slide)
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