EDUCAUSE Southwest Regional Conference 2003
OU Supercomputing Center for Education & Research
Linux clusters are much cheaper than proprietary HPC architectures: factor of 5 to 10 in price/performance.
They’re largely useful for:
Distributed parallelism (message passing): hard to code!
Large numbers of single-processor applications
MPI software design is not easy for inexperienced programmers because:
difficult programming model
lack of user-friendly documentation – emphasis on technical details
BUT: at the national level, a few million dollars for MPI programmers is much much cheaper than tens or hundreds of millions for big iron – and the payoff lasts much longer.