[Bioclusters] Clusters for bioinformatics... Some numbers or statistics?

Ivo Grosse grosse@cshl.org
Thu, 30 Aug 2001 13:01:14 -0400

Hi Jim,

> Possibly killed, (possibly run out of /tmp space or disk space in
> general, benign DOS attack, etc.), and it depends on what kind of risk
> you are willing to take with your clients data while the batch process
> is sharing the machine with them and vice versa.  

Which risk?

> way, who in your group is willing to have a batch process run the
> background on their systems idle cycles while they are working on their
> own projects?  

Most people are willing.  I mean, "working on our projects" has two 

1. type code, papers, emails, ...; compile code; test-run small code; 
simple data analysis or visualization (more, less, gnuplot, xmgrace, 
...); netscape.

2. run (longer) code.

Usually, we run type-1 jobs on our local machines and submit type-2 
jobs to the queue.  While reading your (and typing this) email, there 
is a job running in the background on my machine.

Do yu think that is not safe?  What could be the problems?

> If you have racks of unused old Sun's and SGI's and want
> to make a new cluster without clients I think this is a different
> problem.

Well, we also have those piles of old machines, but my question is the 
opposite.  We have dozens of above-750 MHz P3s that are "abused" as 
typewriters for code, papers, emails, ..., and one option would be to 
upgrade their RAM and use them as a small network of workstations.

An alternative opion is to build a small, say, 16-node beowulf cluster 
(with one master and 15 slave nodes and a simple 10/100 ethernet 
connection and a 16-port switch) with Mosix (or whatever) installed.  
My question is: what would be the advantage of having the beowulf