"Mention HPC clusters and one of the first things that comes to
mind is Linux. One might assume, that the reason is because Linux
is very popular and free. While this is true, the growth of HPC
(High Performance Computing) clusters has grown on its own merits
and not necessarily on the popularity or cost of Linux in general.
Of course, there are server farms based on Linux, but I'm talking
about the big-honking clusters crunching away on some fundamental
problem in science. What did these users see in Linux that has made
it so successful? And, more importantly, what can it tell us about
how we might approach HPC in the future.
"The history of the Beowulf project is a fascinating read. The
article Beowulf Breakthroughs by Tom Sterling in the June 2003
issue of Linux Magazine is an excellent description of the
motivation and people who pioneered the effort..."