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back to article Cell phone supercomputing II: in the flesh

In a recent blog, I wrote how tiny ARM-based compute nodes were assembled into a 16-way cluster and displayed at the recently concluded SC09 supercomputing conference. The nodes were put together by Plugcomputer.org and contain a single 1.2GHz Marvell Sheeva Processor (ARM compatible), 512MB RAM, 512MB flash, and one each …

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Linux

Nerd toy.

Cool.

Just in time for Christmas.

Dammit, I want one, but the wife will probably kill me if I get yet another box.

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Cell phone grid?

Ok now for someone to work out how to create a grid computer by running workloads on ACTUAL mobile phones. <just send a text saying 'include me in' to SETI at Phone...>

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Very cool

Stick a web interface and a USB HDD on it and you have the perfect overnight download box to get around usage caps etc. Dare say it would make a reasonable wee SMTP box etc.

I likey.

Updates as and when, please.

Steven R

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RE: Very cool

You can't see it overly well in the video, but the cluster's management node was an EEE PC running a web frontend with Ganglia to show the load on the system. In addition, a USB HD was attached to the 17th plug to be used as an NFS filesystem to the rest of the cluster.

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I've got one of these

It's actually a Kirkwood processor, not a Sheeva --- SheevaPlug is the name of the dev kit.

I run my entire home server off one. That's all my email, including spam filtering, my firewall to the outside world, my website, an IMAP server, my DNS server, my backup server, and my remote ssh box for doing batch operations. It even runs Java. It's all based off a home-made SSD made out of a RAID array of USB keys and runs Debian Linux. Yes, geek heaven.

But it's also totally silent, and the whole setup cost about 170 quid --- 70 quid for the SheevaPlug dev kit, and 100 for the USB storage. Yes, unlike most pieces of development hardware, the SheevaPlug is actually *cheap*!

If you're interested in low-performance computing I can highly recommend one. Marvell also make a more expensive version with more ports --- including VGA and eSATA --- which is more suitable for actual use, but the SheevaPlug is astonishingly functional as is.

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A few clarifications

I just wanted to reply and mention a few things about the plug cluster (as a member of the team that got it working). We had a total of 17 sheevaplugs (16 compute nodes and 1 storage node with a USB attached storage) all being managed by an EEE PC 901. All of the nodes in the cluster were running in diskless mode (their root filesystems being served via NFS from the management node). The display on the EEE was showing the output of ganglia monitoring the system as we were running tests across the system. While we didn't have cpu-intensive jobs (or applications) we were running the Intel MPI Benchmark suite, which showed quite well that the systems were able to handle an MPI load effectively and correctly (the suite was run continuously over the course of the week and reported no errors during that time).

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@Threar and D Given

FYI guys, I'm currently looking *very* seriously at this now - especially now I see it can run Twonkymedia, apparently. I wonder how it handls Fuppes or PS3 Media Server...?

To be honest, if I was working right now I'd be buying one *now*. I'm currently unemployed, but even then, I'm thnking about forgoing the cigs for a few weeks to get this.

Very, very cool tech. Love it - good work, Threar and friends.

Steven R

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