Trivia

Hard

A Group Of Off-The-Shelf Computers Run In Parallel As A Super Computer Is Called A?

Parallel Supercom
A Render Farm
Heartbeat Network
Beowulf Cluster
The Borg, a Beowulf cluster used by the McGill University pulsar group.
Aarchiba~commonswiki/Wikimedia

Answer: Beowulf Cluster

Computers with a lot of processing power are expensive and there has long been a drive by those interested in cheaper access to processing power, like research scientists, to drive down costs.

One such cost saving measure is an arrangement known as a “Beowulf cluster”. Beowulf clusters are groupings of off-the-shelf commodity-grade computing equipment that are linked via specialty software and the local network. The software allows the processors to be run in parallel which radically increases the processing power of the whole cluster without incurring the expense of purchasing higher end hardware.

The name refers to the original cluster setup, Beowulf, built in 1994 by Thomas Sterling and Donald Becker at NASA. The computer was named such in reference to the hero of the Old English epic poem Beowulf because he was described as having “thirty men’s heft of grasp in the gripe of his hand” much like the cluster wields the power of all the computers connected to it.

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