When:  Thursday, March 15, 2001

     Where:  The Chase Manhattan Bank
             55 Water Street (enter at Old Slip)
             South Tower
             13th Floor, Conference Room C

      Time:  6:15 PM - 6:30 PM  Registration
             6:30 PM - 6:40 PM  Ask the Wizard,
                                Questions, Answers and Current Events
             6:40 PM - 6:50 PM  Unigroup Business
             6:50 PM - 9:30 PM  Main Presentation

     Topic:  Linux Clustering: Beowulf Clusters

   Speaker:  Jozef Skvarcek, Ph.D.
             Unix Administrator, Datek Online

  Meeting Introduction:

  The March 2001 Unigroup meeting is on Linux Clustering.  The main
  presentation will made by Jozef Skvarcek, Ph.D, who is an end user of
  Beowulf.  He has designed Beowulf clusters and has designed and coded
  applications to make use of them.  Beowulf is a freely available
  open-source add-on to Linux which provides support for multi-node
  clustering.  With such a cluster, a group of inexpensive machines can
  appear to act as a single much larger system.  Depending on the size of
  the workload, the design of the application, and the horsepower and
  number of cluster members, mainframe computing power can be achieved.

  We also have another guest speaker, Andrew Flesch from TurboLinux.  Andrew
  will briefly describe TurboLinux's commercial closed-source multi-platform
  (Unix, Linux, NT) clustering solution, EnFuzion, and describe how EnFuzion
  cluster implementations differ from Beowulf cluster implementations.

  For a good introduction to Beowulf, see the Beowulf Web site's
  Introduction and Overview page listed below.

  Web Resources:

   1. The Beowulf Project                http://www.beowulf.org
   2. Introduction to Beowulf            http://www.beowulf.org/intro.html
   3. Beowulf 2nd Generation Clustering  http://www.scyld.com/
   4. Beowulf Underground                http://www.beowulf-underground.org/
   5. Top Clusters                       http://www.topclusters.org/
   6. IEEE Computer Society/Clusters     http://www.ieeetfcc.org/
   7. Jacek's Beowulf Page               http://www.sci.usq.edu.au/staff/jacek/beowulf/
   8. Beowulf FAQ                        http://www.dnaco.net/~kragen/beowulf-faq.txt
   9. TurboLinux                         http://www.turbolinux.com
  10. TurboLinux EnFuzion                http://www.turbolinux.com/products/enf/index.html
  11. BSP / Bulk Synch. Parallel Model   http://www.bsp-worldwide.org


  Building Linux Clusters by David HM Spector, O'Reilly, 2000


  Caldera  has donated three "cartons" of
  Caldera OpenLinux 2.3 for giveaways at Unigroup meetings.  These
  are full, boxed distributions (3 CDs + Manuals).  OpenLinux is
  a leading commercially supported Linux Operating System!
  We gave out most of them at our January meeting, but we still
  have some left to give out (raffle off) as door prizes at
  this meeting.

  Andrew Flesch of TurboLinux  should
  be bringing a variety of giveaways to this meeting which should
  include: White Papers, T-Shirts and CD-ROMs.

  Unigroup appreciates Caldera's and TurboLinux's support!

  Description of Talk:

  Few of us are aware of how much our everyday life depends on supercomputers.
  The price of an ordinary good, such as a pair of jeans, is carefully
  calculated using complicated market simulations.  The weather map we see on
  TV is a result of another high performance parallel application.  There is
  an obvious need for supercomputing power in the academia.  The money, the
  lack of robust funding for a commercial MPP (Massively Parallel Processors)
  resp., in the later case creates a need for computing technologies that a
  Beowulf cluster is an example of.

  Beowulf clusters fall somewhere between MPP and NOW (Network of 
  workstations).  The nodes in the cluster are dedicated to the cluster and
  they are connected via their own private network.  All the nodes are within
  the administrative jurisdiction of the cluster. The building of such cluster
  is based on the idea of providing COTS (Commodity off the shelf) to satisfy
  given computational needs. The similar philosophy applies to the software
  too, the OS (Linux) and the tools are open source, public and therefore easy
  to get.  That is pretty much the definition of a Beowulf cluster.
  Surprisingly, there is no "Beowulf" software to be installed. Beowulf is a
  technology of clustering Linux Computers to form a parallel, virtual
  supercomputer.  [Note that Scyld's Beowulf v2 implementation does boot a
  special cluster operating system on remote nodes, Unigroup is planning
  a followup meeting on this technology].

  Of course, the message passing libraries like MPI and PVM are used in order
  to increase the productivity. The parallelization of a given application
  is achieved by first identifying the concurrent parts of the application and
  then by executing them on different processors with the help of the message
  passing libraries. The way the application is broken into the parallel
  parts is perhaps both the most important and the most difficult (at least if
  we seek to get the maximum performance from a given hardware).

  There is no prescribed way how to build "genuine" Beowulf cluster.  Jozef
  will present the setup he used in the past as an illustration.  Also, he
  will illustrate the parallelization on one of his research problems.   

  Speaker Biography: 

  Jozef Skvarcek studied in the Ph.D. program in Physics at the City
  University of New York between 1994 and 2000, specializing in theoretical
  quantum optics.

  While working as a research assistant in the group of Prof. M. Hillery
  and Prof. J. Bergou at Hunter College, he created and ran high performance
  parallel programs that simulated physical processes, namely the interaction
  between an atom and electromagnetic field inside a microwave cavity.
  Jozef designed and implemented a Beowulf cluster to perform those

  After graduation in 2000, Jozef started to work at Datek Online.  Jozef
  teaches undergraduate classes in Astronomy at Hunter College and he
  continues to stay in touch with his former research group.


  Complimentary Food and Refreshments will be served.  This now includes
  salads and sandwiches (eg. turkey, roast beef, chicken, tuna,
  grilled eggplant)!


     55 Water Street is between Water Street & Front Streets at Old Slip...
     about 7 blocks south of Fulton St. and the South Street Seaport.
     Take 4 train to Bowling Green & Walk Due East;
     Take 2/3 trains to Wall Street, Walk East to Water St.
          then walk South 5 blocks;
     Take M/J trains to Broad St., Walk East to Water St.;
     Take N/R trains to Whitehall St., Walk North East to Water St.
     There is parking on the street (after 6:30-7pm) and there is a lot
          right in the building, entrance on Old Slip.
     Walking from Wall St., follow William St. south which bends around
          and leads you to Hanover Sq. and Old Slip is across Water Street.

  Room Location Specifics:
     Enter the building at Old Slip.  To get to the South Tower of the
     complex, you enter the building at Old Slip at the "North Tower"
     doors.  This entrance is is immediately to the right of the main
     entrance, towards Water Street... ie. Use the right-most side doors
     rather than walking straight ahead at the Old Slip entrance.
     Go past the guard's desk (mentioning you are heading for Unigroup,
     sometimes there is a sign-in) to the elevator bank and go to the 13th
     floor.  When you get to the 13th floor, follow the signs leading you
     to the meeting room.

     The signs will lead you from the elevator, through a set of doors
     (soda machine will be on your left), then past the cafeteria.  After
     the cafeteria, you see another "lobby" area.  Walk past the cash
     machines, make a left and look for a sign marking the meeting room.
     Conference Room C will be on your left.

     If you come very early, we may not have the signs in place yet, but
     hopefully these directions will get you to the meeting room.
     If you arrive before Unigroup Board Members, please be patient and
     wait for us to arrive.


  Fee Schedule:
         Yearly Membership (includes all meetings):      $ 50.00
       * Non-Member Single Meeting:                      $ 20.00
         Student Yearly Membership:                      $ 20.00
         Non-Member Student Single Meeting (with ID):    $  5.00
         Cash, Check, American Express.
       * Employees of Chase (with ID) can attend general meetings at no charge.

    ==>  Unigroup is the Greater NYC Regional Area Affiliate
         of UniForum - an International Unix Users Group.
         Our Joint Membership Program with UniForum is currently
         on hold due to circumstances at UniForum.
         For information about UniForum visit http://www.uniforum.org.


  Please mark this meeting on your calendar and join us!
  Please tell your friends about Unigroup!



   We have a series of meetings in the works.
   - High Availability / Fault-Tolerant Hardware Cluster Configurations
   - NetBSD
   - Building a Firewall using FreeBSD and Linux
   - Unix Office Tools:  Word Processors, Spreadsheets, Accounting Packages.
   - Emacs
   - PKI
   - GNU Development Environments
   - Meetings on a variety of Sun/Solaris/Java topics

   Please let us know about any other meeting topics that you may be
   interested in.



   Our thanks go to Jeff Altman from The Kermit Project at Columbia
   University for presenting a meeting on Secure TCP/IP Communications.

   We learned that current Kermit implementations are more than a tool for
   reliable communications, they are in fact a must-have tool in your
   security toolkit as they now provide secure and authenticated telnet
   and ftp.  Jeff dove into the details of the security protocol
   negotiations and how you can use the standard telnet protocol to
   implement security for secure client connections.

   Jeff made his presentation slides available on the web.  For a link,
   visit the Unigroup announcement page for that meeting:


   Lynne Hummel of Compaq let us know about a Compaq program for Linux
   developers, here is the announcement:

   Join Generation Linux!
   Generation Linux is a FREE program for Linux developers.  When you join,
   you get: support, services, porting and solution development assistance,
   quick online access to hundreds of Linux books from Macmillan, visibility
   with Compaq field organizations and customers, eligibility to win a great
   Compaq Linux product.  You also get a free Alpha SDK and a
   Jumpstart CD Free.  To join, go to:



   The Internet & E-Business Conference & Exposition will be held in NYC
   at the Javits Center on April 2-4, 2001.  See
   for more information and for free expo hall admission.



   Unigroup is one of the oldest and largest Unix User's Groups serving the
   Greater New York City Regional Area since the early 1980s.  Unigroup is a
   not-for-profit, vendor-neutral and member funded volunteer organization.
   Unigroup holds regular and special event meetings throughout the year on
   technical topics relating to Unix and the Unix User Community.   Unigroup
   is also the Greater NYC Regional Area Affiliate of UniForum - an
   International Unix Users Group.

   Thanks to Chase, Unigroup holds regular meetings planned for the Third
   THURSDAY of Odd Months at The Chase Manhattan Bank, 55 Water Street, NYC.
   Chase has been a long time sponsor of Unigroup, allowing us the use of a
   meeting room and presentation equipment.

   Planned meeting dates are: 3/15/01, 5/17/01, 7/19/01, 9/20/01...
   Watch for our Special Event meetings at the various trade shows in NYC
   as well as "field trips" to the facilities of local hardware and
   software vendors.

   = For Unigroup Information, Events and Meeting Announcements be sure to =
   = visit our World Wide Web Home Page:                                   =
   =       http://www.unigroup.org                                         =

   For further information or to get on the Unigroup Electronic Mail Mailing
   List send an EMail message to:

   To contact the Board of Directors of Unigroup, send an EMail message to:

   To contact the Newsletter Editor, send an EMail message to:

   If you have recently attended a meeting and you are not receiving
   Email announcements, please send us an Email and we will make
   corrections to our lists.

   Please Email the Board with any suggestions, especially potential meeting
   topics and speakers.  Unigroup welcomes contributions and content
   suggestions for our newsletter.  Unigroup is a volunteer organization and
   we need your assistance!  Please let us know if you can help!


I hope to see you all at our next meeting!

-Rob Weiner
 Unigroup Executive Director

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