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Building a High-Performance Computing Cluster Using FreeBSD, Brooks Davis
(Audio generously recorded and processed by Nikolai Fetissov)
Since late 2000 we have developed and maintained a general purpose technical and scientific computing cluster running the FreeBSD operating system. In that time we have grown from a cluster of 8 dual Intel Pentium III systems to our current mix of 64 dual, quad-core Intel Xeon and 289 dual AMD Opteron systems.
In this talk we reflect on the system architecture as documented in our BSDCon 2003 paper "Building a High-performance Computing Cluster Using FreeBSD" and our changes since that time. After a brief overview of the current cluster we revisit the architectural decisions in that paper and reflect on their long term success. We then discuss lessons learned in the process. Finally, we conclude with thoughts on future cluster expansion and designs.About the speaker:
Brooks Davis is an Engineering Specialist in the High Performance Computing Section of the Computer Systems Research Department at The Aerospace Corporation. He has been a FreeBSD user since 1994, a FreeBSD committer since 2001, and a core team member since 2006. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College in 1998.
His computing interests include high performance computing, networking, security, mobility, and, of course, finding ways to use FreeBSD in all these areas. When not computing, he enjoys reading, cooking, brewing and pounding on red-hot iron in his garage blacksmith shop.