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Beowulf (computing)

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(Redirected from Beowulf cluster)
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The Borg, a 52-node Beowulf cluster used by the McGill University pulsar group to search for pulsations from binary pulsars.

Beowulf is a design for high-performance parallel computing clusters on inexpensive personal computer hardware. Originally developed by Donald Becker at NASA, Beowulf systems are now deployed worldwide, chiefly in support of scientific computing.

A Beowulf cluster is a group of usually identical PC computers running an open source Unix-like operating system, such as Linux or BSD. They are networked into a small TCP/IP LAN, and have libraries and programs installed which allow processing to be shared among them.

There is no particular piece of software that defines a cluster as a Beowulf. Commonly used parallel processing libraries include MPI (Message Passing Interface) and PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine). Both of these permit the programmer to divide a task among a group of networked computers, and recollect the results of processing.

The name comes from the legend of Beowulf.

A very interesting development is the use of Knoppix bootable CDs in combination with openMosix. A cluster can be implemented without any settings required. It is scalable to any number of computers in a network. Booting the computers like this will automatically link them together to form a Beowulf cluster and it will be ready for use adding all CPUs and RAM together.

Presently, there are a number of different Linux distributions that are designed for building Beowulf clusters. These include:

Examples

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Beowulf.jpg
An example of a home-built Beowulf cluster

Carnegie Mellon University, Process Systems Engineering Beowulf Cluster (http://beowulf.cheme.cmu.edu/)

See also

External links

ja:Beowulf pl:Beowulf (informatyka) ru:Beowulf (кластер)

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