IBM DeveloperWorks: High Performance Computing (HPC) has become easier, and two reasons are the adoption of open source software concepts and the introduction and refinement of clustering technology. This first of two articles discusses the types of clusters available, uses for those clusters, reasons clusters have become popular for HPC, some fundamentals of HPC, and the role of Linux in HPC.
Linux clustering is popular in many industries these days. With the advent of clustering technology and the growing acceptance of open source software, supercomputers can now be created for a fraction of the cost of traditional high-performance machines.
This two-part article introduces the concepts of High Performance Computing (HPC) with Linux cluster technology and shows you how to set up clusters and write parallel programs. This part introduces the different types of clusters, uses of clusters, some fundamentals of HPC, the role of Linux, and the reasons for the growth of clustering technology. Part 2 covers parallel algorithms, how to write parallel programs, how to set up clusters, and cluster benchmarking.
Included in this article:
- Types of HPC architectures
- Clustering, defined
- Common uses of high-performance clusters
- How Linux and clusters have changed HPC
- Understanding hardware: Vector vs. cluster
- Parallel programming and Amdahl's Law
- Approaches to parallel programming
- When file I/O becomes a bottleneck