April 30, 2004

Clusters of thoughts by Beowulf founder

Donald Becker started the Beowulf Parallel Workstation Project in 1993 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The project's goal was to cheaply mimic
the computing power of expensive mainframes and supercomputers with clusters of commodity hardware and free operating systems. The effort at NASA was
named after the eighth-century Danish poem Beowulf, who slew mighty beasts - in the case at NASA, those beasts were supercomputers and mainframes.

This evolved into the Beowulf Project, which became popular among researchers for linking together Linux and FreeBSD machines to take on huge
computational tasks. Linux-based clusters are now frequently seen in the list of the top 5 supercomputers in the world. Becker founded clustering
software firm Scyld Computing, which was acquired by Penguin Computer. He is now Penguin Computer's CTO. I recently spoke with Becker about how far
clustering has come.

Link: nwfusion.com

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