Posted by Ken Farmer, Friday April 30 2004 @ 11:19PM EDT
NetworkWorldFusion: Donald Becker started the Beowulf Parallel Workstation Project in 1993 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The project's goal was to cheaply mimic the computing power of expensive mainframes and supercomputers with clusters of commodity hardware and free operating systems. The effort at NASA was named after the eighth-century Danish poem Beowulf, who slew mighty beasts - in the case at NASA, those beasts were supercomputers and mainframes.
This evolved into the Beowulf Project, which became popular among researchers for linking together Linux and FreeBSD machines to take on huge computational tasks. Linux-based clusters are now frequently seen in the list of the top 5 supercomputers in the world. Becker founded clustering software firm Scyld Computing, which was acquired by Penguin Computer. He is now Penguin Computer's CTO. I recently spoke with Becker about how far clustering has come.
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