This case study examines and compares two large-scale Linux clusters. The first of these is Chiba City, a 256-node cluster supporting computer science that was installed at Argonne National Laboratory in 1999. The second is Jazz, a 350-node cluster for production computing. Jazz was installed a few feet away from Chiba City in late 2002.
A comparison between the two clusters is instructive. Chiba City is beginning to fade into the half-life of technology, while Jazz is just getting started. Our design choices on Jazz were based on our experiences with Chiba City, on changes in the industry, and the need to support a production computing user base.
We'll first describe Chiba City in some detail, considering the design, configuration, operation and usage. While Chiba City's technology is aging, the cluster architecture itself is still extremely relevant. Then we'll describe Jazz similarly while contrasting it with Chiba City in order to illustrate those aspects of cluster design that change over time.