[Bioclusters] Cluster specs

Mike Muratet bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
Thu, 4 Nov 2004 12:01:38 -0600 (CST)


The local university is preparing a proposal for a cluster and has asked
for inputs. As is often the case, by the time the request trickles down to
those who actually have to provide the informaton, the response is due.
So, if I could impose upon the experience of those on the list, I need to
refresh my knowledge about clusters and figure out what the state of the
art is these days. I feel like one of those guys that is trying to get
their CS homework done on the perl list, but here goes...

* Platform: I like Red Hat or SUSE linux on Athlons (preferable to me) or
Pentiums. I've done a lot of teeth-grinding trying to get things to run on
Macs. But, I think there may be compelling performance arguments for
Apple. Could anyone make such an argument? Anybody have any comments about
Blade technologies?

* Cluster system: the biocluster webpage talks about approaches for
bioclusters being "...significantly different from
traditional HPC and "beowulf-style" approaches" and I certainly buy into
this. Has anybody thought any about _why_ it's different and would
they like to share it? I've used Sun GridEngine. Has anybody come up
with anything that has more synergy? Is there any open source BLAST out
there that exploits the cluster environment?