I was talking to Tinker on Skype today and he was bored. So I suggested him to build a Beowulf Cluster with several of his spare PCs. He thought it might be interesting, as did I.

So I thought I would post the link to get started with this project for anyone else who is interested.

View: Wikipedia: Beowulf Computing

Beowulf is a design for high-performance parallel computing clusters on inexpensive personal computer hardware. Originally developed by Donald Becker at NASA, Beowulf systems are now deployed worldwide, chiefly in support of scientific computing.

A Beowulf cluster is a group of usually identical PC computers running a FOSS Unix-like operating system, such as GNU/Linux or BSD. They are networked into a small TCP/IP LAN, and have libraries and programs installed which allow processing to be shared among them.

There is no particular piece of software that defines a cluster as a Beowulf. Commonly used parallel processing libraries include MPI (Message Passing Interface) and PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine). Both of these permit the programmer to divide a task among a group of networked computers, and recollect the results of processing.

The name comes from the legend of Beowulf.


View: Engineering a Beowulf-style Computer Cluster

NOTE WELL: This book is in a pretty much perpetual state of being written and rewritten. This is inevitable - technology changes rapidly, I'm busy, I write and then rewrite, add and take away. So you're about to look at a snapshot that could be different tomorrow. Not greatly different, but different. So look at the date: 24 May 2004, and check back accordingly.

Note also that the author is not to be held legally responsible for the accuracy of the content of this book. Read the Open Publication License at the end if you have any doubts or questions about what you can and cannot do (can print and use for own purposes or distribution at the cost of media, cannot reprint and sell for a profit without my permission, and getting my permission will likely involving giving me money, that sort of thing). Use this book at your own risk.
Useful Links



Beowulf: http://www.beowulf.org

Linux: http://www.linux.org/

RedHat: http://www.redhat.com

LAM/MPI: http://www.lam-mpi.org/

MPICH: http://www-unix.mcs.anl.gov/mpi/mpich/

METIS: http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~karypis/metis/

Intel Compiler: http://www.intel.com/software/products/compilers/flin/

PGI CDK: http://www.pgroup.com

Netperf: http://www.netperf.org