Clusters (was CLUG meeting 23 May 2002)

Doug ABERDEEN douglas.aberdeen at
Thu May 23 11:12:40 EST 2002

On Thu, May 23, 2002 at 10:36:37AM +1000, Drake Diedrich wrote:
> On Wed, May 22, 2002 at 12:43:00PM +0100, Richard Cottrill wrote:
> > 
> > Can anyone give me a concise description of what 'grid computing' means?
> > From what I can tell it's essentially a different name for a beowolf
> > cluster... I think there's supposed to be something about the nodes not
> > being dedicated cluster machines in there too.
> > 
>     "Grid" is a new term for cluster as far as I know.  A beowulf is
> (usually, these terms are all pretty flexible) a uniform commodity cluster
> like bunyip.  You can also cluster Suns, SGIs, Supercomputers, ..., or a mix

A grid is not quite the same as a cluster. The processing nodes of a grid
can be distributed across a wide geographic area, whereas clusters are
usually a bunch of machines in the same room. This makes networking and 
security issues more complex for grids. Another distinguishing feature
is that different nodes of a grid might be identified with different
abilities, such as peta-byte storage facilities, or nodes which are
themselves clusters. 

When you think grid, think global cluster, with global organisational
problems to go along.


-Doug  --, Ph: (02) 6125 8608
Deep in love I fell on Monday,
Tuesday did nothing but sigh,
Wednesday I popped the question,
Thursday waited her reply.
Friday, late, it came at last,
Then all hope for me was past!
Saturday my life to take
I determined like a man,
But for my salvations sake
Sunday morning changed my plan!
	-- Tolstoy 

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