Commodity single board computer clusters and their applications

Johnston, S. J., Basford, P. J., Perkins, C. S. , Herry, H., Tso, F. P., Pezaros, D. , Mullins, R. D., Yoneki, E., Cox, S. J. and Singer, J. (2018) Commodity single board computer clusters and their applications. Future Generation Computer Systems, 89, pp. 201-212. (doi: 10.1016/j.future.2018.06.048)

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Current commodity Single Board Computers (SBCs) are sufficiently powerful to run mainstream operating systems and workloads. Many of these boards may be linked together, to create small, low-cost clusters that replicate some features of large data center clusters. The Raspberry Pi Foundation produces a series of SBCs with a price/performance ratio that makes SBC clusters viable, perhaps even expendable. These clusters are an enabler for Edge/Fog Compute, where processing is pushed out towards data sources, reducing bandwidth requirements and decentralizing the architecture. In this paper we investigate use cases driving the growth of SBC clusters, we examine the trends in future hardware developments, and discuss the potential of SBC clusters as a disruptive technology. Compared to traditional clusters, SBC clusters have a reduced footprint, are low-cost, and have low power requirements. This enables different models of deployment—particularly outside traditional data center environments. We discuss the applicability of existing software and management infrastructure to support exotic deployment scenarios and anticipate the next generation of SBC. We conclude that the SBC cluster is a new and distinct computational deployment paradigm, which is applicable to a wider range of scenarios than current clusters. It facilitates Internet of Things and Smart City systems and is potentially a game changer in pushing application logic out towards the network edge.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tso, Dr Fung Po and Perkins, Dr Colin and Pezaros, Professor Dimitrios and Herry, Dr Herry and Singer, Dr Jeremy
Authors: Johnston, S. J., Basford, P. J., Perkins, C. S., Herry, H., Tso, F. P., Pezaros, D., Mullins, R. D., Yoneki, E., Cox, S. J., and Singer, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:Future Generation Computer Systems
ISSN (Online):1872-7115
Published Online:30 June 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Future Generation Computer Systems 89: 201-212
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
722161FRuIT: The Federated RaspberryPi Micro-Infrastructure TestbedJeremy SingerEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P004024/1COM - COMPUTING SCIENCE