In a continuing effort to provide computing resources for academic and research uses, OIT has partnered with Dell Computer Corporation to provide a high-end, Intel-based “Beowulf” cluster. Beowulf clusters are groups of PC’s (some with multi-processors) connected together via high-speed networks that can replicate the performance of a supercomputer, but at a fraction of the cost. This type of computing is also known as “high performance” or “parallel” computing. Princeton’s Beowulf cluster will be powered by 32 Dell PC’s – each with two, 2.4GHz Intel processors.
The Beowulf cluster will serve those faculty and students who need to run computationally intensive programs, offering high performance computing cycles that might not otherwise be available. The cluster will be used as a teaching tool on which students will be able to develop skills in parallel programming. Researchers considering the purchase of high performance computing systems will be able to use the cluster as a prototyping and development tool. Finally the cluster will be available for running production research applications.
The cluster has been operational since June 2003. While we are not initially charging for cpu time on the cluster, we are currently working on funding models to continue and grow this service going forward. One possibility is that we may charge for cpu time in the future. We will also charge for disk quota above the standard 300 MB. You will be notified in advance of any changes in the way we price this service.
If you have any questions about the cluster, please contact Curt Hillegas, curt@Princeton.EDU or 8-6033.
See the Beowulf navigation bar on the right-hand side of this page for links to technical specifications, usage guidelines, a tutorial, and third-party documentation.