Parallel Computing LaboratoryThe Parallel Computing Laboratory, located in Bear Hall 201-A, contains distributed/parallel system called Extreme0, which is a Beowulf class cluster of computers. This Beowulf cluster is a set of twelve computers connected together by a 3Com 3300 Autosensing 10/100 Managed Fast Ethernet switch. This cluster consists of one head node and eleven client nodes.
These machines are each dual processor, 1G MHz Pentium IIIs and run the SUSE 7.2 distribution of the Linux operating system. The head machine has 512 Mbytes of memory and 75 Gbytes of disk space, and the client machines each have 256 Mbytes of memory and 30 Gbytes of disk space.
Distributed-memory systems have become more and more prevalent in recent years due to their affordability over larger parallel systems. The main philosophical concept behind a Beowulf class computer is to construct the best price/performance system for parallel applications. Most Beowulf class systems are clusters of off-the-shelf PCs interconnected by low cost local area network technology. By using Linux or other open-source Unix-like operating systems, this price/performance improvement is enhanced. Some of the more powerful Beowulf systems are among the top 500 highest performance computers in the world.1
The Extreme0 cluster is currently being used by students taking the Parallel Computing class. The cluster is also being used by faculty for research, including Dr. Ferner's research in parallelizing compilers for distributed systems. Allen Randall, who is assisting Dr. Ferner, is responsible for having constructed the Beowulf.
1Thomas L. Sterling, John Salmon, Donald Becker and Daniel F. Savarese, How to Build a Beowulf - A Guide to the Implementation and Application of PC Clusters, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA., London, England. (1999), p. 1.
This page was last updated: September 25, 2001