What is Parnass2?
Parnass2 is a dedicated cluster of personal computers (PCs) used for the department of applied mathematics at the University Bonn. This resource is used as a personal supercomputer to carry out computational tasks too large for conventional workstations. The PC cluster is dubbed Parnass2 because its nodes are named after great poets and philosophers: Goethe, Kant, and so on.
Built using off-the-shelf components (Intel Pentium-II motherboards, Linux, Fast Ethernet), it can achieve a performance of 1 Gflop/s per $9K . But more importantly, on real applications it competes surprisingly well with systems costing 10-100 times more. Because the system is inexpensive (about the cost of a high-end workstation), it can be used as a personal supercomputer, rather than a resource that must be shared by many people.
We use Parnass2 as a parallel processing environment, using MPI.Linpack MP on 126 processors. The cluster is on the 06/10/99 TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers.