LCDP at Sheridan
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Cluster Programming Tools...
December 14, 2001

Cluster Programming Tools:

1. MPI - Message Passing Interface
2. LAM - Local Area Multicomputer
3. PVM - Parallel Virtual Machine

Why Are PVM and MPI So Different?

1. MPI - Message Passing Interface

The goal of MPI, simply stated, is to develop a widely used standard for writing message-passing programs. As such the interface attempts to establish a practical, portable, efficient, and flexible standard for message passing.

In designing MPI the MPI Forum sought to make use of the most attractive features of a number of existing message passing systems, rather than selecting one of them and adopting it as the standard. Thus, MPI has been strongly influenced by work at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Intel's NX/2, Express, nCUBE's Vertex, p4, and PARMACS. Other important contributions have come from Zipcode, Chimp, PVM, Chameleon, and PICL.

The main advantages of establishing a message-passing standard are portability and ease-of-use. In a distributed memory communication environment in which the higher level routines and/or abstractions are build upon lower level message passing routines the benefits of standardization are particularly apparent. Furthermore, the definition of a message passing standard provides vendors with a clearly defined base set of routines that they can implement efficiently, or in some cases provide hardware support for, thereby enhancing scalability.

MPI Home page

LAM - Local Area Multicomputer

LAM is an MPI programming environment and development system for heterogeneous computers on a network. With LAM, a dedicated cluster or an existing network computing infrastructure can act as one parallel computer solving one problem.

LAM features extensive debugging support in the application development cycle and peak performance for production applications. LAM features a full implementation of the MPI communication standard.

LAM Home Page

PVM - Parallel Virtual Machine

PVM is a software package that permits a heterogeneous collection of Unix and/or NT computers hooked together by a network to be used as a single large parallel computer. Thus large computational problems can be solved more cost effectively by using the aggregate power and memory of many computers. The software is very portable. The source, which is available free thru netlib, has been compiled on everything from laptops to CRAYs.

PVM enables users to exploit their existing computer hardware to solve much larger problems at minimal additional cost. Hundreds of sites around the world are using PVM to solve important scientific, industrial, and medical problems in addition to PVM's use as an educational tool to teach parallel programming. With tens of thousands of users, PVM has become the de facto standard for distributed computing world-wide.

For those who need to know, PVM is Y2K compliant. PVM does not use the date anywhere in its internals.

Home page

Clusters developed at Sheridan College:

Beowulf on Red Hat 6.2
Beowulf on SuSE7.2
Home page of Aaron's diskless beowulf

SCIM Cluster Team Home

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