Big SMP boxes are expensive, and puny two-socket and four-socket boxes are cheap. And for years now, ScaleMP has been trying to use software and fast networks to make a big server out of a bunch of little ones. Managing clusters is a pain in the neck, and applications really like to have a single address space to play in, and …
My experience with ScaleMP is
not very good. I tested software which ran beautifully on a 24 core (6 quad-core) opterons (18-22 x speed-up) crunching through multi-scale analysis of a 1.2 gigapixel image in 60 seconds. On a 64 core (4x 16 cores if I am right) ScaleMP box performance was DISMAL. As more threads are added, the performance tends to drop severely. On a single thread I would get a timing of say 60 seconds for a smallish data set, on 2 threads it took anything up to 5 minutes. The scheduler NEVER puts two threads of the same program on a single board, but scatters them far and wide. You can only gain speed up on these boxes if you have many light-weight processes which do not need to share much memory. Did we not have clusters for that?
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