[Techtalk] building a personal cluster

N. Leenders nadine at ualberta.ca
Fri Apr 17 15:41:32 UTC 2009

> I've been reading up on clusters because I think it would be a fun experiment
> to build one at home. Hey, what self-respecting geek doesn't have a houseful
> of lazy, under-utilitized computers? One question I'm having a hard time
> finding an answer for-- would this speed up all computing tasks, or does it
> only work for applications that are specially tweaked? I do a lot of audio
> and video editing, and if a little cluster would speed that up then I want
> one now.

No, it wouldn't speed up all computing tasks.

For it to help, the application has to be parallelized and work with your 
cluster.  If the parallel threads need to communicate with each other, 
then the application would have to work with a system like MPI (message 
passing interface).  We use mpich which is a free implementation of MPI.

Video could potentially be an excellent application for a cluster, since 
it is likely an image could be subdivided for processing in parallel.

  - Nadine

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