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Parallel Processing Symposium, International (1996)
Honolulu, HI
Apr. 15, 1996 to Apr. 19, 1996
ISSN: 1063-7133
ISBN: 0-8186-7255-2
pp: 104
Thomas Sterling , Center of Excellence in Space Data and Information Sciences
Donald J. Becker , Center of Excellence in Space Data and Information Sciences
Chance Reschke , Center of Excellence in Space Data and Information Sciences
Daniel Savarese , University of Maryland
Michael R. Berry , The George Washington University
Network-of-Workstations (NOW) seek to leverage commercial workstation technology to produce high performance computing systems at costs appreciably lower than parallel computers specifically designed for that purpose. The capabilities of technologies emerging from the PC commodity mass market are rapidly evolving to converge with those of workstations while at significantly lower cost. A new operating point in the price-performance design space of parallel system architecture may be derived through parallelism of PC subsystems. The Pile-of-PCs, PopC (pronounced ``pop-see''), approach is being explored through the Beowulf Parallel Workstation developed to provide order-of-magnitude increases in disk capacity and bandwidth for a single user environment at costs commensurate with conventional high-end workstations. This paper explores a critical aspect of the architecture trade-off space for Beowulf associated with the balance of parallel disk throughput and internal network bandwidth. The findings presented demonstrate that parallel channels of commodity 100 Mbps Ethernet are both necessary and sufficient to support the data rates of multiple concurrent file transfers on a sixteen processor Beowulf parallel workstation.
networks of workstations, parallel processing, Beowulf, Linux, message passing, parallel I/O, distributed systems

C. Reschke, M. R. Berry, D. Savarese, T. Sterling and D. J. Becker, "Achieving a Balanced Low-Cost Architecture for Mass Storage Management through Multiple Fast Ethernet Channels on the Beowulf Parallel Workstation," Parallel Processing Symposium, International(IPPS), Honolulu, HI, 1996, pp. 104.
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