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:
Symantec says Linux-Darlioz burrows in through PHP.
Dell renews its quest for the ultimate developer machine.
Innovative back door looks like normal SSH traffic.
One of CeBITs most successful forums opens the new year with a new name. The popular Open Source Forum continues in 2014 under the name Special Conference: Open Source. This year, the forum will be bigger and offer a wider range of possibilities for sponsors.
New release offers better graphics drivers and expands filesystem support.
New mail protocol will shut out the NSA and prevent snooping on metadata.
A new web application helps users visualize distributed denial-of-service attacks.
Ubuntu 13.10 takes a step toward convergence, with lots of mobility, but Mir only partly here.
Galileo board is targeted to embedded developers and educational institutions.