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The Beowulf Cluster: Historical Overview

Our first Beowulf Cluster was acquired with the aid of a CFI grant of $75,500 that was awarded in October 1999. With additional funding from ACOA, the VP Research, the Dept of Math and Stats, as well as several faculty members (Bahturin, Oyet, Peng, Pike, Shalaby, Sneddon, Wareham, Zhao, Zou), we subsequently purchased 25 dual-core nodes, each running at 600 MHz and with 256 MB of RAM. They arrived on 21 January 2000. The CFI award also enabled support infrastructure (such as UPS, file servers, air conditioning, etc, to be provided).

In March 2001, five additional dual-processor nodes were added to the cluster, each running at 800 MHz and with 512 MB of RAM.

In March 2002, another two dual-processor nodes (1 GHz, 512 MB) were added with support from Guigné International Ltd.

In 2005, with funding from an NSERC RTI-1 grant, four 4-processor machines (1.8 GHz, 20 GB) were brought online.

In 2007, our present cluster was acquired with the assistance of a new CFI grant, as well as additional support from IBM. In tandem with the new cluster coming online, much of the original cluster is now retired.

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