Research Support and High Performance Computing



Beowulf Clusters

A Beowulf-class cluster computer, commonly referred to as a Beowulf cluster, is actually a number of "regular," i.e. consumer-based, computer systems (called nodes), linked together in a network running software that allows the computers' resources to be combined.

Beowulf cluster computers were first introduced in 1994 as a result of the Beowulf Project at CESDIS. Thanks to the hard work of many people at various universities and organizations, several resources are available for the creation of a Beowulf cluster. In addition, many skilled programmers have been able to develop practical applications for Beowulf clusters.

The name given to our original cluster comes from Norse mythology. Valhalla is the great hall of Odin, wherein he feasts with his chosen heroes, all those who have fallen bravely in battle, for all who die a peaceful death are excluded.

We chose this name because our cluster began as a collection of computers that were "retired" from faculty/staff desktops. They represented those who have fallen bravely in battle and were chosen to become part of the beginnings of a supercomputer (the great hall of Computers).


The name of our current cluster comes ftom Star Trek (property of Paramount Pictures). Grethor is the Klingon equivalent of Hell. At the time, Stovokor, the equivalent of Valhalla, was in use. Names of future clusters will return to a more "heavenly" track.