Cluster Computing by Morrison S.R.

By Morrison S.R.

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Eadline’s work demonstrates that applications perform differently and performance cannot be modelled effectively with mathematics at this stage, reinforcing the use of testing and experimentation. Although this is the case, the popularisation of parallel computers will be through the development of general-purpose, cost effective, fault-tolerant parallel clusters such as Beowulf that can be tuned to a particular algorithm’s natural requirements or used in a standard configuration. 2. 1. CPU A choice of CPU should be made from two families: Intel x86 [IA32] compatible (such as the Pentium4) or Compaq Alpha systems [Formerly DEC].

1. Copyright © 2003 Parallel Communications Libraries A cluster is a collection of local memory machines. The only way for Node A to communication to Node B is through the network. Software built on top of this architecture ‘passes messages’ between nodes. While message-passing codes are conceptually simple, their operation and debugging can be quite complex. A major goal of middleware for message passing systems is to ensure the degree of portability across different machines. The expectation is that the same message passing code should be able to be executed on a variety of machines as long as the message-passing library is available.

Some factors are discussed below that classify the types of performance measurement available. Hardware and Software Measurements Hardware measurements focus on the physical events taking place within various machine components. They are usually made with hardware monitors connected directly to hardware devices, and are triggered by certain signals. Measuring devices need to be designed such that they do not interfere with the systems being measured. For example when designing microprocessors, it is important to make critical signals accessible for measurement.

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