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ZDNet UK: Linux great and small

Sep 11, 2000, 18:23 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis Jarrett)

"However, next year's IBM revenues will come from Linux servers and supercomputers, not from gadgets sold in commodity quantities. And the major advance for business users might come from Linux clusters, the cheapest and most impressive of which are Beowulfs."

"All you need are a few Linux-compatible PCs, a fast Ethernet switch, and the Beowulf software. The software comprises a set of patches and add-ons that work with most Linux distributions, and these you can download from the Web address below, along with bags of info for you or your techies -- we're not talking plug-and-play here. There's more at the second Web address, including details of a Beowulf cluster of ten 600MHz PIIIs with 100Mbit/s Ethernet adapters -- total cost $4150. OK, it's ugly and messy. But it works."

"Setups like Beowulf are designed because universities need lots of computing but don't have lots of money to spend. The applications for Beowulf tend towards number crunching. Beowulf works best for problems that can be divided into small pieces for individual and parallel processing, things like weather forecasts and modelling."

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