Parallel Computing on a PC Cluster

In a previous article of the Computer News, we had introduced our users to the PC cluster which staff at Computer Centre had been putting together, which comprises eight dual Pentium CPU's interconnected by a dedicated high-speed Gigabit Ethernet switch.  In the last few months, we had assembled the hardware and vigorously tested the software. We are pleased to announce that the PC cluster for parallel computing is now available and ready for user testing.

This PC cluster system will provide an alternative solution to the high performance computing facility provided by the IBM SP2 parallel computer (hkusp2.hku.hk).  Information about this PC cluster can be found from the webpage located at http://www.its.hku.hk/pccluster.

This PC cluster system will execute distributed memory parallel programs. By using more than one CPU to run your programs, substantial speed-up in execution time can be expected.  For certain algorithms, a linear speed up (i.e. speed up proportional to the number of CPUs used) can be achieved. This feature is critical for time/memory consuming applications such as weather forecasting or data mining.

This system is a distributed memory system. Using it would require a certain level of competency in parallel programming.  Training courses on parallel programming are available in Computer Centre .

Staff and students are welcomed to discuss with us on the feasibility of using this system in their research projects.  Currently, we are creating user accounts in the PC cluster system manually.  If you are interested in using this system or have any queries about it,  please contact the undersigned for an appointment.
 

Kwan Wing Keung
Tel : 28578631
E-mail : kwk@cc.hku.hk

Woo Chat Ming
Tel : 28578632
E-mail : cmwoo@hkusua.hku.hk


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