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Ethernet Cluster Super Computer from Raspberry Pi article [Engadget]

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#1
Not sure if this is the best sub-forum for this, but considering the brain uses networking devices as the interconnect for cluster computing I figured this might be a pretty neat read.

Researchers at the University of Southampton have followed their instincts and built Iridis-Pi, a tiny 64-node cluster based on the Raspberry Pi's usual Debian Wheezy distribution and linked through Ethernet.
Source link in the article has DIY instructions for the system :toast:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/13/supercomputer-built-from-raspberry-pi-and-lego/
 
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#2
I want to see benchmarks :D

Here some pics.


 

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#3
I bet they spent more on network switches than they did on processing power.


$4,026 is quite a lot of a cash--enough for a significant LGA-2011 two-way Xeon system. I wonder how it stands up, performance wise, to a 32-threaded, 2.0 GHz Xeon E5 2650 system. I bet it gets slaughtered by at least four fold.

Conclusion: waste of money.
 

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#5
I bet they spent more on network switches than they did on processing power.


$4,026 is quite a lot of a cash--enough for a significant LGA-2011 two-way Xeon system. I wonder how it stands up, performance wise, to a 32-threaded, 2.0 GHz Xeon E5 2650 system. I bet it gets slaughtered by at least four fold.

Conclusion: waste of money.
You bring up a very good point about the cost of the project. I'm not sure what application may utilize the ras pi setup to surpass something like a LGA-2011 setup you're suggesting. It would be awesome to have a head-to-head xD

Legos are cool. Performance wins every time.
 

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#6
Number of USB ports? I honestly can't think of any situation where a Raspberry Pi cluster would be superior. Not to mention the complexity of having 64 (worker) + 1 (host) programs running simutaneously versus one program running 32 threads.
 

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#8
Number of USB ports? I honestly can't think of any situation where a Raspberry Pi cluster would be superior. Not to mention the complexity of having 64 (worker) + 1 (host) programs running simutaneously versus one program running 32 threads.
*grsnort* :roll: USB ports xD

The benefit here seems to be having such systems for education and instruction. They may not be uber powerful, but render farms for bigger applications are put to a more instructional scale. It's easy to move, disassemble, and visualize.
 
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#9
Cool. Awhile back I had a similar idea when they announced that future versions might be PoE powered.

Phase 1: Build Pi Cluster.
Phase 2: ?????
Phase 3: Profit!

Planned out phase 1:

- 48 10/100 port + 4 100/1000 port switch with PoE support, $600. (May not be cheapest, just the first one I found).

- 48 Raspberry Pis.

- Master node.

Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out phase 2...
 
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#10
I bet they spent more on network switches than they did on processing power.


$4,026 is quite a lot of a cash--enough for a significant LGA-2011 two-way Xeon system. I wonder how it stands up, performance wise, to a 32-threaded, 2.0 GHz Xeon E5 2650 system. I bet it gets slaughtered by at least four fold.

Conclusion: waste of money.
Very true, but these little guys won't use more than 450w for 64.

Performance Per watt
Pi>Xeon maybe?
Performane Per $
Pi<Xeon
 

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#11
*grsnort* :roll: USB ports xD

The are benefit here seems to be having such systems for education and instruction. They may not be uber powerful, but render farms for bigger applications are put to a more instructional scale. It's easy to move, disassemble, and visualize.
True, if their objective is to train students how to program for *NIX clusters (which most research clusters are), this is a good, cheap alternative to everything else out there. A single, high-performance computer won't do a very job at that.


Very true, but these little guys won't use more than 450w for 64.

Performance Per watt
Pi>Xeon maybe?
Performane Per $
Pi<Xeon
The processors I linked are 95w TDP. My two-way server draws 300w continuous from the wall at 100% load. The system I described would be about the same, probably less, because I have 6 HDDs. They boasted about 1 TB of space--you can get three times that from a single hard drive for $140.

I can't find matching LINPACK tests ran on Raspberry Pi to compare to two-way systems of similar price. :( It should be easy to guesstimate with solid Xeon/Opteron figures.
 
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#12
True, if their objective is to train students how to program for *NIX clusters (which most research clusters are), this is a good, cheap alternative to everything else out there. A single, high-performance computer won't do a very job at that.
i would use virtual machines for that. should be fine for teaching. doesn't cover the hardware aspect though
 

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#13
VM also wouldn't have network lag/limitations that makes cluster computing a challenge.
 

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#14
VM also wouldn't have network lag/limitations that makes cluster computing a challenge.
just use the linux traffic shaper to add latency.

if you get more than 0.5 ms with ping you should seriously start switching network equipment anyway as it will kill your performance
 
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#15
i didnt know that profesionals made lego racks