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Encyclopedia > Beowulf cluster

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 FreeBSD or another open source Unix operating system, such as Linux or OpenBSD. 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 linux/knoppix bootable CDs in combination with openMosix, without any settings required any number of computers in a network booting like this will automatically melt together to form a cluster or Beowulf and 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:


See also

  • Automatic Parallelization Environment for Network of Workstations

External links

  Results from FactBites:
ITworld.com - The supercomputer in my basement (1713 words)
Beowulf is an approach to building a supercomputer by means of clustering commodity off-the-shelf (COTS) computers that are interconnected with a local area network technology like Ethernet and running programs optimized for parallel processing.
Beowulf is loosely coupled and is a distributed memory environment that runs message passing parallel programs which do not assume a shared address space across processors.
Incidentally, Beowulf is the name of the legendary hero who slayed the monster Grendel and became the king of the Geats in an anonymous Old English epic poem that is believed to have been composed in the early eighth century.
Scyld Delivers Out Of The Box Beowulf Clustering. (910 words)
Beowulf cluster systems connect a series of computers together, using a modified version of Linux, to form a parallel processing supercomputer.
The Scyld Beowulf Operating System improves upon traditional Beowulf clusters as all operations performed on the linked cluster nodes are initiated and administered through a single master node.
About Beowulf Beowulf, and Beowulf clustering are terms that describe a technique of connecting commodity computers together using a modified version of Linux to create a High Performance Computer.
  More results at FactBites »



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