Aetherwulf is a small rack-mountable Beowulf cluster made from 10 single board computers.
Each node consists of a 1GHz Pentium 3 processor, 30GB IBM Travelstar laptop drive, 256MB
ram, and build in NIC and video. The case was designed to be clear for demonstration
purposes. We went through a great many problems trying to get the machine working - all
related solely to power problems. The evolution of the machine is detailed below in
Aetherwulf was delivered to Code 935 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on February
Aetherwulf was constructed by Nathan
DeBardeleben and Phil Carns.
- IMAGE - The single board computers we used. They were from
Inside Technologies with 1GHz P3 processors, 30GB IBM Travelstar laptop drives, 256MB ram,
and built in NIC, video, etc.
- IMAGE - The SBC from a side angle, mounted to the clear plastic
blades. This view shows the laptop drive with ribbon cable attached.
- IMAGE - Our original attempts at powering the SBCs
involved a single high wattage (450W) power supply that we spliced into a connector
for each of the SBCs (they use a special connector). We tried this but blew the power
supply around 6 SBCs and switched to two seperate power supplies to power all the
nodes. This is an overhead shot of these power supplies - this approach did not
- IMAGE - We found these small power supplies which
were from Channel Well Technologies and intended to go inside the G-Box (an ultra small
PC in a box). We acquired one of these for each SBC, rewired the power to a three seperate
AC connectors which we attached to extension cords. This is a picture of a pack of
four of these power supplies wired together.
- IMAGE - This is a show of a pack of three of the
power supplies as they are being placed into the housing.
- IMAGE - The power supplies required a load on the 12 volt
line and the SBCs didn't draw on this line. We bought power resistors to place on the
12 volt line and, therefore, cause the power supplies to come on. This picture shows
the resistors and our initial implementation which involved using these adapters.
- IMAGE - Starting to place the resistor in-line.
- IMAGE - The resistor going in-line.
- IMAGE - The resistor in-line.
- IMAGE - The resistor secured to the case.
- IMAGE - The resistor secured and placed into the case.
- IMAGE - The case with everything in it, but the power supplies
have not yet been secured.
- IMAGE - The case from behind, showing the fan configuration.
- IMAGE - Another case shot, a little closer, with the power
supplies still not secured.
- IMAGE - The case from the front, showing the LEDs, the intake
fan, and the network switch.
- IMAGE - Aetherwulf completed.
- IMAGE - Aetherwulf in the traveling case.
- IMAGE - Nathan DeBardeleben with Aetherwulf.
- IMAGE - Nathan DeBardeleben with Aetherwulf again.
Nathan DeBardeleben with Aetherwulf before the trip to NASA GSFC.
Aetherwulf was devlivered to Code 935 at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on February
The Parallel Architecture Research Laboratory