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Raspberry Pi Clustering

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  • J
    This sounds a lot like something I could see Thad doing in his secret lair :-) I built one once using old throw-away PCs, but only briefly as the power
    Message 1 of 2 , May 21 8:20 AM
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      This sounds a lot like something I could see Thad doing in his secret
      lair :-) I built one once using old throw-away PCs, but only briefly
      as the power consumption and heat were horrible, not to mention a
      cluster of low-end pentiums was pretty slow and boring in actual
      practical application.

      I did think that this would be pretty neat done with small SoC systems
      like the Raspberry Pi, and I know people have talked about clustering
      sheva plugs as well.


      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/20/32_way_raspebrry_pi_cluster/
      > Boise University PhD candidate Joshua Kiepert has built a 32-way Beowulf
      > cluster from Raspberry Pis.

      > Kiepert says his research focuses on “developing a novel data sharing system
      > for wireless sensor networks to facilitate in-network collaborative processing of
      > sensor data.” To study that field Kipert figured he would need a decent
      > simulator, preferably a cluster so he could simulate lots of distributed sensors.
      > The University possesses just such a cluster, comprised of 32 nodes each
      > packing a quad-core Intel Xeon E3-1225 CPU humming away at 3.1GHz.
      >
      > That's a lovely facility and is therefore much in-demand, which meant Kiepert
      > could not guarantee access for lengthy experiments. That got Kiepert thinking
      > that if he had a cluster of his own he could tweak as required, and that cluster
      > was a bit closer to the low-level hardware used in sensors, that would be a fine
      > thing.
      >
      > Kiepert's mathematical skills then did some multiplication: at $45 per Pi,
      > including an 8GB SD card, he could acquire the raw materials for a 32-way
      > cluster for $1500, or the same price as one Xeon-powered PC. As he
      > contemplated the design for such a cluster, Kipert settled on Arch Linux for its
      > tiny size. He eschewed the Pi's micro-USB port as a power source, as he felt it
      > would complicate cabling, instead using a 5V pin on the machines' I/O headers.
    • thad_floryan
      ... Actually I ve done something like that back in the 1980s using the Motorola MC6800 family of CPUs which I designed-into security systems I sold. With
      Message 2 of 2 , May 21 3:18 PM
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        --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, J <dreadpiratejeff@...> wrote:
        >
        > This sounds a lot like something I could see Thad doing in his
        > secret lair :-)

        Actually I've done something like that back in the 1980s using the
        Motorola MC6800 family of CPUs which I designed-into security systems
        I sold. With static RAM the systems hardly used any power and one of
        my experiments had 6 MC6803 MPUs clustered together (which was the
        most I could connect using the ProtoBoards and keeping the wiring
        profile less than 1 inch high).

        > I built one once using old throw-away PCs, but only briefly
        > as the power consumption and heat were horrible, not to mention a
        > cluster of low-end pentiums was pretty slow and boring in actual
        > practical application.

        And that's where the ARM family of CPUs will excel. My SheevaPlugs
        and the two Cisco RVS4000 I have barely use any power yet they do
        have "reasonable" computer muscle. It's my understanding the next
        generation of Google's servers will all be ARM-based to reduce power
        consumption without [much] performance penalty.

        > I did think that this would be pretty neat done with small SoC
        > systems like the Raspberry Pi, and I know people have talked about
        > clustering sheva plugs as well.

        All very feasible and much better than what NASA did at Ames Research
        (near me) with 2000+ Shuttle (the computer, not the ill-fated space
        plane) systems clustered creating a "supercomputer". I'd hate to be
        the person paying that power bill, but with things like the PI costs
        can be controlled nicely. My monthly power bill used to be around
        $500 and I got that down to around $50 to $60 now for both electricity
        and gas thanks to efficient replacement power supplies for most of
        my computers, better lighting, etc ... plus I don't have to use my air
        conditioner anymore during Summer -- house stays around 75°F (24°C)
        even when the outside temp is 117°F (47°C). Insulating with a product
        called Reflectix helped, too (I covered most windows with it and lined
        the attic and garage).


        > http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/20/32_way_raspebrry_pi_cluster/
        > [...]

        And I expect to see more amazing things as computing paradigms change
        to include perhaps even more parallelism.

        Thad
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