RE: Multi-Processor Pentium Clusters (was Re: First place.)

Michael J Gebis (
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 09:30:27 -0500 (EST)

> Now the software to do this is free (Linux, the Beowulf package), the
>hardware is the everday PC, the only (somewhat) out of the ordinary
>component is the Fast Ethernet and appropriate hubs. Anyone with enough
>money can build one of these. Can you imagine how many keys this thing
>could search in a second (DES, RC5, IDEA, whatever)?

Brute force key checking parallelizes very nicely, so using a cluster
of 16 computers gives basically the same MIPS rate as using the 16
computers separately. It's more interesting to see these machines
work on problems that are NOT so clearly parallelizable.

If you are still interested in building your own cluster, take a look
at PAPERS, a project here at Purdue. To quote the professor behind
it, "You can build the hardware in your kitchen for less than $50 of
TTL fact, that's how I do it."

Mike Gebis