Posted Jul 20, 2006 10:11 UTC (Thu) by drag
In reply to: HPC computing
Parent article: Free Software Sets the Computing Agenda
I don't know.. I never done any real HPC stuff, just played around it at home.
If I can setup a Linux cluster then it can't be that difficult.
Also I've been told that for clustering projects especially, and HPC in general, that the best thing a operating system can do is simply get out of the way. The less impact the OS has the better.. You just need something to manage I/O (ie, fast drivers for the interconnects), setup the disks, initialize the hardware, bring up the node, and the rest is all managed at that application level with whatever custom thing they've setup.
Not that I know a lot about it personally.
As I understand it it's mostly fortran with some MPI libraries that people use for beowolf stuff. With Linux this is very easy. I expect a administration can probably setup a little ramdisk with everything you need on it to setup a node and load it over a network in a blink.
I couldn't imagine having to do that with something like Windows 2003. Just strip it down to a kernel and a few bare utilities and libraries... Is that even possible? I would have to devote a half a gig of ram and have a disk drive just to run the OS.
I know that Microsoft just getting into HPC is a bit of a farce. They've been working with institutions for years to get Windows-based clusters into the Top500 for many years now.. And they've consistantly been able to do it. The first time that I aware of was with a NT-based cluster in 1999. They've had various W2k machines in the Top500. Pretty much every top500 ranking since 2002 or so has had a Windows cluster in it. I haven't seen more then a specific university or two build them and those are specificly working with Microsoft for Windows cluster projects. Building clusters to prove that they can build clusters. Or so it seems to me at least.
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