Summary for the 32 processor Mach14 cluster

Mach14 is a cluster of diskless computers. The 32 processors are PIII-SSE1's with 800 and 933MHz clock rates, working on dual-processor motherboards with 512 and 1024 MByte RAM, respectively. Both FastEsternet (0.1 Gbps) and Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) are used, connected by use of FastEthernet/Gigabit switches.

The standard double-precision HPL benchmark, when only using FastEthernet, shows for 16 processors 7 Gflop/sec and for 30 processors 11 Gflop/sec. The Mach14 cluster was put in action one evening at the beginning of June 2001, and is operating since then.

The cluster name is in honor of the physicist and positivism-philosopher Ernst Mach; Mach14 is but one of the clusters at The University of Tennessee Space Institute. The applications of Mach14 include Monte Carlo simulations of gas dynamic expansions, laser ignition computations, cataract deconvolutions, single-molecule experiment simulations, and other CFD-type numerical modeling.

Several clusters are in use on the UTSI computational grid with currently 0.2 TeraBytes of distributed RAM and 6 TeraByte of distributed hard-disk memory. The nominal computational performance of the networked computers is more than 0.1 Teraflop/sec. The computational speed of 1 Teraflop/sec corresponds to 1 Floating-Point-Operation (FLOP) per picosecond.

Selected details for the Mach14 32-processor Beowulf-type cluster.

  • ASUS CUV4x-DLS motherboards.
  • HPL benchmark for double-precision.
  • AT 9006 Fiber Switch for 8 of the 16 nodes.
  • Rapier24 Switch for all 16 nodes.
  • Netgear GA620 fiber cards, the FastEthernet interfaces are on the motherboard.
  • Etherboot is used to bring up the nodes in seconds.
  • RRDtool is used for system/network monitoring together with the HotSaNIC package.
  • lm_sensors and I2C is used for hardware monitoring.
  • Zebra is used for routing between clusters, including BGP.
  • APC UPS's are used for all nodes.
  • Linux is the operating system for this cluster, using out-of-box full-install of the standard Redhat distribution disks.

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