Fairfax IT: Clusters serve up a challenge

“Today, operating systems such as the freely available Linux
can be used to power cluster system. And Linux based clusters have
already made great inroads into the marketplace.”

“One such system, known as Beowulf (www.beowulf.org), can be put
together in a couple of days. You can download Linux from the Web
and install it on two or more networked computers quite easily. The
networks that you use can be Ethernet, GigabitEthernet, SCI, or
Myrinet. If you configure one of these nodes as a fileserver, this
becomes the master node, so the rest of your nodes act as slaves
with the ability to access resources on the master.”

“You can download and install popular software environments such
as MPI (Message Passing Interface) or PVM (Parallel Virtual
Machine) and you will have a baby supercomputer that is ready to
run your applications.”

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