PenWellNet.com: Beowulf system: more geoscience computing power for less money

[ Thanks to Robert M.
for this link. ]

“In 1998, with oil and gas prices decreasing steadily, the
Amerada Hess staff was faced with a dilema: IT (information
technology) budgets were being severely reduced while the
corporation’s steady growth was generating increasing dem-ands for
advanced seismic imaging. To compound the problem, one of the two
supercomputers then in use at the Houston processing center was
going off lease.”

“It was quite clear that a new paradigm was needed to replace
this system. Amerada Hess’ geoscience technology and technical
computing groups decided to work together to move their seismic
processing onto beowulfs….”

“Fortunately, Linux is a version of Unix which was developed for
PCs. Consequently, a port of the bulk of the seismic software to a
small test beowulf running Linux was completed in a matter of
weeks. Other than incorporating code, which automatically converted
between the numbers on the PCs and the Unix workstations and
supercomputers, the port to the beowulf took no more effort than
required for a port to a different vendor’s supercomputer. In fact,
as much time was spent optimizing the performance of the processing
software for the new platform as in performing the port. There are
many excellent open-source mathematical libraries freely available
on the Internet.”

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