[torqueusers] building a department GPU cluster

Roberto Nunnari roberto.nunnari at supsi.ch
Thu Jan 17 07:44:13 MST 2013

Hi all.

I'm writing to you to ask for advice or a hint to the right direction.

In our department, more and more researchers ask us (IT administrators) 
to assemble (or to buy) GPGPU powered workstations to do parallel computing.

As I already manage a small CPU cluster (resources managed using SGE), 
with my boss we talked about building a new GPU cluster. The problem is 
that I have no experience at all with GPU clusters.

Apart from the already running GPU workstations, we already have some 
new HW that looks promising to me as a starting point for temporary 
building and testing a GPU cluster.

- 1x Dell PowerEdge R720
- 1x Dell PowerEdge C410x
- 1x NVIDIA M2090 PCIe x16
- 1x NVIDIA iPASS Cable Kit

I'd be grateful if you could kindly give me some advice and/or hint to 
the right direction.

In particular I'm interested on your opinion on:
1) is the above HW suitable for a small (2 to 4/6 GPUs) GPU cluster?
2) is torque suitable (or what should we use?) as a queuing and resource 
management system? We would like the cluster to be usable by many users 
at once in a way that no user has to worry about resources, just like we 
do on the CPU cluster with SGE.
3) What distribution of linux would be more appropriate?
4) necessary stack of sw? (cuda, torque, hadoop?, other?)

Thank you very much for your valuable insight!

Best regards.

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