[Top] [All Lists]

Re: What about...

To: "Greg Chesson" <>
Subject: Re: What about...
From: "William J. Earl" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 11:19:54 -0700
Cc:, Alex deVries <>, Igor Loncarevic <anubis@BanjaLuka.NET>, SGI Linux <>
In-reply-to: <>
References: <> <> <> <> <> <>
Greg Chesson writes:
 > Linux has proven to be worthwhile as a node controller in an MPP 
 > architecture -
 > that's what a Beowolf is.  But that does not make it ready for SMP nodes
 > that scale to large numbers.  It seems wasteful to program a large scale
 > ccNUMA machine the same way as a Beowolf cluster: you'd be throwing away
 > most of the capabilities of the hardware.  That's why I don't
 > think it is interesting or particularly useful... unless a massive amount
 > of work went into rewriting the io and memory management subsystems,
 > not to mention scheduling, administration, etc.

     I expect that much of the work will gradually happen in linux, once
the remaining small-CPU-count issues are resolved.  Right now, there
is no shortage of interesting problems to attack.  :-)

     One possible way to approach the large-CPU-count space with linux
is to indeed run multiple linux kernels, one per node in a ccNUMA
machine, and add a distributed OS layer at a fairly high level.  If it
is not underway already somewhere, I would expect someone to take up
the project as a graduate school project.  Some systems of this sort
have been built or attempted, with varying degrees of success.  Given
the linux bias toward small and simple, a linux-based distributed OS
might actually work.

     One important ingredient in such a system, which would be
valuable immediately for clusters, would be a efficient distributed
volume manager and file system.  

     In any case, trying to port linux straight to a large ccNUMA 
(or even a large SMP) system would be a lot of effort for limited
return at present.

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>