The story of Helmer: A linux cluster in a IKEA Helmer cabinet
Helmer (Ikea of Sweden)
Width: 28 cm
Depth: 43 cm
Height: 69 cm
Helmer Data Sheet
Disk cloning in progress. I used Fedora 8, and the command "dd" to clone the discs from the bootable System rescue CD disc.
> dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb
All connected to a 8 port 3 com gigabit switch.
Common storage using nfs to a FreeNAS server running on a Via C7 machine (that just need 20 W power .. another story :)
Instead of power switch I used a simple cable to the "pwr" jumper on motherboard. (Wires taped on right side)
Instructions of how I did the DrQueue setup is here:
The most amazing is that this machine just cost as a better standard PC, but has 24 cores that run each at 2.4 Ghz, a total of 48GB ram, and just need 400W of power!! This means that it hardly gets warm, and make less noise then my desktop pc.
Render jobs that took all night, now gets done in 10-12 min.
..next one will be in red.. www.sfe.se
It has been crazy last days. I have got allot of questions regarding details, construction and software setup. I'll do a better page as soon... or I build the Red Helmer II :) Would be fun to use the AMD 16 core Bulldozer cpu x 6 = 96 core in a box :)))
If a hardware manufacturer/pr-guy happened to read this. I'm very happy to receive hardware play around with ;)
It has happened! I filled the ram, and all boards begun to swap. During this the power consumption was up to 800W. Running now a while, I noticed that H1 board (bottom one) gets hotter than the other boards. I think this is because the other boards are cooled from the fan below also.
Well, general planning and webpage have begun on Red Helmer II - thank you Google :)
First alternative hardware for Red Helmer is selected, and will do about 12Tflops. (64x times faster then Helmer 1) and cost about the same :) Stay tuned for more!
A hardware god may help me, and then Helmer II will do about 50 TFLOPS!!!! please please, may the force be with me :)
Some render tests result here:
The storming sea scene file 24 frames in resolution 4000x4000 pixels.
- On a MacPro 2 x DualCore Xenon 2.66 Ghz with 4 GB ram
took 552 minutes (9.2 h)
- Helmer did same 24 frames in 4k format in 64 min.
Some approximate numbers give Helmer a floating point capacity of 186 Gflops
A better spelled version of this page is here (by Dan - Thanks)