News Flash! Magnus Svensson is the first (and only) to correctly identify the rack below as an old Digital rack that contained a couple of drives with platter-sized disks and a washing machine style drive.
We took a 16 node cluster to SC00 in Dallas, TX. It was the first LinuxBIOS cluster and despite the fact that Dallas sucked, this cluster sucked less. The cluster was comprised of the following:
- 1-4U box with the Acer Aladdin TNT2
16 LinuxBIOS-Based Cluster Appliance Nodes
- 13-1U Linux Labs Nodes with the SiS 630E chipset
- 1-4U box with the SiS 630E chipset
- 2 mid-towers with the SiS 630E chipset
- Packet Engines 20 port switch
The frontend node ran the Scyld Beowulf clustering software. The appliance nodes ran LinuxBIOS out of the Millenium Disk on Chip and the Scyld Beowulf node boot program. We used the cluster to run various programs (NAS MG, K-Means clustering, 2-D Elasticity, etc.) written in the ZPL programming language.
Setting up the cluster. On the left, uniformed laboratory employees help prepare the cluster before the show floor opens. On the right, Ron burns a Millenium Disk on Chip to complete the cluster. booth Our part of the LANL booth. The front end node, the switch and most of the Linux Labs nodes are in the rack on the right. On the left, a VA Linux node running LinuxBIOS sits on top of dirtball, the flash-burnin', all around utility machine.
side of cluster Front and side views of the cluster. The majority of the cluster was housed in a rack we got out of lab salvage (a prize to the first person who can identify what machinery the rack came from). The cluster was the only one on the floor to have bestowed upon it the coveted "THIS CLUSTER SUCKS LESS" award from Scyld (see picture on right). open node
naked node The hardware. We left one of the Linux Labs nodes open (left) and following Ollie Lho's lead at ALS in Atlanta, we also left a completely naked node (right) on the table. Scyld guys Help from our friends. The guys from Scyld came by to eat candy and help us out. more debugging
Buck visits Other visitors. On the left, Ron and Mitch (a colleague from the lab) track down a problem with one of the nodes. On the right, Ron explains the cluster to the Deputy Director of our division, Buck Thompson.