Those responsible for Oracle have wanted to demonstrate the potential of the famous Raspberry Pi, and have created a cluster with 1,060 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B + that have exhibited at the Oracle OpenWorld 2019 event held this week.
We had already seen similar projects of small supercomputers that could be built based on joining a good bunch of small Raspberry Pi, but this initiative goes further.
A great little supercomputer
The cluster made use not only of those Raspberry Pi 3 B +, but also of a series of 3D-printed trays to mount an especially unique rack.
To govern the entire system, the company’s engineers connected all these miniPCs through the Oracle Autonomous Linux distribution, a platform that allows combining the power of all these small computers to face all kinds of distributed solutions.
As pointed out in ServeTheHome, there are much more direct alternatives such as virtualizing a server based on ARM processors – they compared their performance with that of a cluster of 190 RPi recently – but in Oracle the answer was clear and blunt: “a large cluster is cool“. And it certainly is cool.
The architecture of this “supercomputer” is formed with 2U racks with 21 Raspberry pi 3 B + each, and according to those responsible for its creation it only took one day to prepare the assembly of these 1,060 computing nodes, then connected with Ubiquiti UniFi 48 switches ports Those switches were then connected via a Cisco SFP port and 10GbE connections.
Instead of using power via Ethernet (PoE) – which would cause dissipated heat to increase – this cluster makes use of an array of USB power supplies, and storage is provided by an external server that is responsible for providing boot from network to all systems.
The firm did not give figures on the performance that can be expected from such a cluster, but obviously does not approach the level of modern supercomputers that are part of the famous TOP500 list. Even so, it is a most striking project that once again demonstrates the versatility of these small and amazing miniPCs.