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Building Linux Clusters Paperback – 11 Jul 2000

2.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (11 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565926250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565926257
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,730,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Subtitled, "Scaling Linux for scientific and enterprise applications" Building Linux Clusters is an eye-opener. Build your own supercomputer out of obsolete PCs using a free OS: it's the stuff geek-dreams are made of. Spector gives examples of uses, including complex modelling, virtual world creation and image generation. He tells us how to choose hardware and explains cluster topologies. He notes Linux clusters regularly make it onto the list of the world's top 500 supercomputers. Not bad for free.

Of course, running your own cluster isn't trivial, but Spector convincingly shows how straightforward it can be for basic clusters, and how far clusters can be extended. He covers the all important inter-machine communications issues in exhaustive depth. Setting up the hardware can be relatively straightforward as, surprisingly, is the software installation. He uses Red Hat's v6 Linux distribution--it's supplied with the book-with the addition of all the clustering software and tools. These are also available from the Beowulf Web site.

After installation, Spector takes us through cluster management--based on the Open Source PostgreSQL database--including adding users, setting up groups and so on. Programming for parallel processing is trickier. He introduces various solutions including PADE, XVPM, LAM based on PVM (the Parallel Virtual Machine). He also provides example programs on the CD. For example, PVFS, the Parallel Virtual File System, enables you to use a bunch of standard PCs to create a high performance file server at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke hardware/software solution.

It's not often a computing title generates real excitement, but Building Linux Clusters offers anyone with the price of a few trailing edge PCs--and a bit of spare time--the kind of computing power recently available only to governments. --Steve Patient


One approach to building supercomputers is to interconnect any number of common PCs using an interface like Ethernet. This method, called clustering or "Beowulf" clustering, produces very inexpensive powerful computers whose capabilities would previously have cost millions of dollars. Now for a few tens of thousands of dollars, very powerful computers can be built for any number of computing solutions. From scientific applications to transaction processing, clustering technology provides an affordable, scalable computing solution. This text introduces the reader to the basics of cluster installation and configuration, and comes complete with a CD full of cluster installation programs and tools for parallel programming. Focusing on the "how to" of building a Linux cluster, this book is a hands-on guide for people new to clustering. It is the definitive guide to scaling Linux for scientific and enterprise applications.

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17 August 2000
Format: Paperback
One person found this helpful
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2 October 2000
Format: Paperback
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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
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2.0 out of 5 starsBuilding Linux Clusters
9 October 2000 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
6 people found this helpful.
1.0 out of 5 starsOld
26 February 2001 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful.
Philip Washington
2.0 out of 5 starsHard Road
19 October 2000 - Published on
Format: Paperback
David Spector
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Author Responds
19 April 2004 - Published on
Format: Paperback
13 people found this helpful.

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