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

Dec 31, 2000, 19:17 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Davis)

[ Thanks to Robert M. Sexton 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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