[rescue] Perverse Question

Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez lefa at ucsc.edu
Thu Jun 19 19:07:44 CDT 2003

On Thu, 19 Jun 2003, Charles Shannon Hendrix wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 19, 2003 at 05:52:24PM -0400, Dave McGuire wrote:
> > >Heh, we have a beowulf system with tens of racks... stuffed with toasty
> > >pentiums... does that make it a mainframe :-)....
> >
> >   No, it makes it a big pile of PCs on a network.  That Tandem was one
> > computer.
> So many people don't seem to understand the benefit of a single-instance
> OS.

We understand that perfectly sir. There is this whole notion that people
using beowulfs are some sort of idiots who know nothing about computer
architecture, when actually it is the opposite. There is this thing call
embarrasingly parallel problems :), they seem to map very well to these
sort of machines. And they solve the problem cheaper and faster than the
coresponding cc-NUMA machine.

 > If you've ever worked with a few dozen or more individual systems
in > a rack, and also something like a Tandem or an SGI Origin, then you
> understand something painfully well: why the former is cheap, and why
> the latter is expensive, and how nice having the latter can be.

We have both, we even have large SIMD machines. Again the right tool for
the right job. Origins can be a real overkill for a large spectrum of
parallel problems...

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