Creating low-cost "learning clusters" for HPC
Starting out in the HPC world requires learning to write parallel applications and learning to administer and manage clusters. We take a look at some ways to get started.
On the Beowulf mailing list  recently, Jim Lux started a discussion about "learning clusters"  – that is, low-cost units that can be used to learn about clusters. People often wonder how to get started with clusters, usually in one of two ways: "I want to learn parallel programming" or "I want to learn how to build and administer clusters." Sometimes the question is simple curiosity: "What is a Beowulf cluster and how can I build one?"
In the past, you had just a few options, including getting access to a cluster at a nearby university, buying/borrowing/using some old hardware from various sources to build one yourself, or designing your own cluster by shopping for parts. However, with the rise of virtualization, you now have more system options than ever, particularly if your budget is limited.
In this article, I'll take a quick look at various system options for people who want to learn about clusters, focusing on the programming and administration aspects. These options range in price, learning curve, ease of use, complexity, and just plain fun, but the focus is to keep the cost down while you are learning. The one aspect of clusters that I'm not really going to focus on is performance. The goal is to learn, not to find the best price per 109 floating point operations per second ($/GFLOPS) or the fastest performance. Performance can come later, once you have learned the fundamentals.
Read full article as PDF:
The Bavarian capital shuns Microsoft, Google, and other alternatives to implement an open-source groupware solution.
Phone vendor partnerships bring Mark Shuttleworth's dream of Ubuntu on a phone a step closer to reality.
Donors will get to vote on new features for the free video editor.
Debian project puts init out to pasture and says no to Ubuntu's Upstart.
Ultra-sophisticated attack tool might have originated from a state-sponsored intelligence service.
New alternative for init comes with a small footprint and minimal configuration.
X marks the target for the next-generation windowing system.
Super-clone CentOS Linux gets beamed up to the mother ship.
HTML technology will enable new video editing and playback options.
New Linux distro is optimzed for gaming.