INTRODUCTION BEOWULF Cluster
A cluster is a type of parallel or distributed processing
system, which consists of a collection of interconnected stand-alone computers
cooperatively working together as a single, integrated computing resource.
cluster of computers shares common network characteristics like the same namespace
and it is available to other computers on the network as a single resource. These
computers are linked together using high-speed network interfaces between themselves
and the actual binding together of the all the individual computers in the cluster
is performed by the operating system and the software used.
cost of 'traditional' High Performance Computing.
Clustering using Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) is way cheaper than buying specialized
machines for computing. Cluster computing has emerged as a result of the convergence
of several trends, including the availability of inexpensive high performance
microprocessors and high-speed networks, and the development of standard software
tools for high performance distributed computing.
need for High Performance Computing
As processing power becomes available, applications which require enormous amount
of processing, like weather modeling are becoming more common place requiring
the high performance computing provided by Clusters.
BEOWULF Cluster is
a kind of high-performance massively parallel computer built primarily out of
commodity hardware components, running a free-software operating system like Linux
or Free BSD, interconnected by a private high-speed network.
the Beowulf architecture is a multi-computer architecture that is used for parallel
computation applications. Therefore, Beowulf clusters are primarily meant only
for processor-intensive and number-crunching applications and definitely not for
storage applications. Primarily, a Beowulf cluster consists of a server computer
that controls the functioning of many client nodes that are connected together
with Ethernet or any other network comprising of a network of switches or hubs.
One good feature of Beowulf is that all the system's components are available
from off-the-shelf component and there is no special hardware that is required
to implement it. It also uses commodity software - most often Linux - and other
commonly available components like Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) and Messaging
Passing Interface (MPI).
serving all the client nodes in the Beowulf cluster, the server node also acts
as a gateway to external users and passes files to the Beowulf system. The server
is also used to drive the console of the system from where the various parameters
and configuration can be monitored. In some cases, especially in very large Beowulf
configurations, there is sometimes more than one server node with other specialized
nodes that perform tasks like monitoring stations and additional consoles. In
disk-less configurations, very often, the individual client nodes do not even
know their own addresses until the server node informs them
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