Windows cluster using ICS

Windows cluster using ICS

artret's picture

Hello everyone!

I'm newbie in practical cluster computing and I want to create a cluster of 25 nodes on Windows 7 using Intel Cluster Studio. What do I need to accomplish this task? Just nodes with Win7 and ICS? Previously I tried to use cluster on Windows Server 2008 HPC and it had a cluster manager. Is there anything similar in ICS? Can I monitor nodes, their status and status of jobs? How do people create clusters on Windows?

Can someone advise me articles or books to make things clearer?
Thanks in advance.

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James Tullos (Intel)'s picture

Intel® Cluster Studio isn't a cluster management solution, it is a suite of development tools for HPC/cluster applications.  I've never built a Windows* cluster myself, so I can't really provide a good recommendation for where to start.  However, I did find an article on Microsoft's TechNet website (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/2539.diy-supercomputing-how-to-build-a-small-windows-hpc-cluster.aspx) which might be helpful.  That site is not controlled by Intel, and we are in no way responsible for the content of that site.

artret's picture

Thank you for the article James. In this case I wonder if it is possible to use Intel MPI (which is delivered with ICS) to run MPI programs on a set of Windows nodes without any cluster management software?

Tim Prince's picture

The getting started guide which comes with Intel MPI for Windows goes over the installation process. Apparently, you would install the smpd from command line on each node. As I recall, my customers in the past told me it worked OK without special prerequisites like Microsoft HPC cluster license or Active Directory.  So it could be a satisfactory alternative to the MPICH2 Windows installer, the latter possibly being an easier practice step but not supporting Infiniband connections.  At one time there was some interoperability between Intel Windows MPI and MPICH2; I haven't heard of any demand for it to be maintained.

Microsoft's strategy seems to have been to try to keep the HPC market confused, so it's more of a "you're own your own" situation than with more widely used HPC OS.  OpenMPI has been pushed out of the Visual Studio compatibility arena into supporting Windows only under cygwin, so no longer link compatible with Intel windows software.

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