View Full Version : OS X Clusters, dude!

02-23-2002, 08:18 PM
Some good quick articles

a physicist at University of California, Los Angeles, who recently helped to build the largest Macintosh cluster yet, by hooking together 56 dual-processor G4s.

Not only was the performance faster than the Pentiums but it was comparable to the performance achieved on some Crays

"There's a book called How to Build a Better Beowulf that's 230 pages long and tells you how to set up clusters with Linux," Dauger said. "We have a one-page manual (PDF) that shows you how to do it on PowerMacs. We've had high school students do it. We've had junior high school students do it. We even had a sixth grader in Hawaii do it."

"It took NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory two weeks to put together a 16-node Linux cluster." he added. "I could do the same thing in less than an hour."

Dauger added that Linux clusters are extremely fragile: If all the machines in the cluster aren't running the same version of the kernel, everything grinds to a halt. By contrast, a Macintosh cluster can be made from a mix of G3 and G4 Macs running Mac OS 9 or X.

Size Issues with MacClusters? http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,50454,00.html

Gavin said the center would like to switch to Macs because their PowerPC chips offer the most computing power for the least amount of electrical power. Power draw and heat management are big issues when designing computer clusters.

The issue of mounting Macs in a rack can be resolved, said Ernie Prabhakar, product line manager for development platforms at Apple. Some researchers intent on using G4s have created specially designed racks for them.

Gavin said Apple's Mac OS X is the other big attraction for scientists. The new operating system is based on Unix, a crash-resistant operating system. "We could probably port all our stuff in a couple of days," Gavin said.

Mac OS X has already made converts out of some scientists.

It's not just the operating system that won him over -- it was just as much the design of new Mac hardware. "Life is hard enough. It's nice to sit down to a piece of technology that actually makes you feel good to use it," he said.

I would post to pics, but my FTP site is stuffed. Looks fairly interesting... I figured some good news would help to balance out some of the bad news http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Darn those formatting typos! Anyway we can get a preivew?

The Cost Of Freedom:
Every bit of energy.
Every ounce of courage.
Every drop of blood.

Sic Semper Tyranus!

[This message has been edited by dragon_x (edited 23 February 2002).]

03-03-2002, 06:17 PM
Yup - those Appleseed clusters are quite slick - even have high school students doing it on their iMacs...