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Building Australia's Fastest Computer

by Frank Crawford


ac3 recently installed the fastest supercomputer in Australia (1.095 TFlops) consisting of a 155 node Beowulf Cluster running Linux, Red Hat 9 and OSCAR.

The paper will outline a number of the issues related to setting up such a large system, including the environmental considerations of heat and noise, and the techniques used to install and manage the cluster in production.  This will include details of a number of publicly available packages used in the management tasks, such as monitoring, patching and reporting, as well as the security aspects, both to prevent unauthorised network intrusion and local host based issues.

Finally the paper outlines details about benchmarking the system for, including hpl, the High Performance Linpack benchmarking program.  It will also outline a number of issues with the whole process.

Frank Crawford

Download complete paper: Building Australia's Fastest Computer (772K PDF)