Telaketju Beowulf clusters

Smaug Glaurung Ancalagon

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Distributed Computing at VTT Electronics


The simulation in large communication network requires enormous computing resources (high computing and processing power, reliable and quick memory management, adequate mass storage capasities etc.) in order to provide accurate simulation results with short simulation time. Thus, one of the research and development topics in Wireless Internet Services group has been to provide efficient simulation platforms for the network and service research. Based on our previous research and development on distributed and parallel computing, we utilise a dedicated lowly parallel computing environment in our current research and development projects.

The work on distributed and parallel cluster computing started in former Electronic Circuits and System research area (currently Telecommunication systems) in 1998, when the first Beowulf type parallel computing cluster was build at VTT Electronics, Oulu. The project started as a message-passing and parallel node communication development and hardware simulation platform project with the main goal of introducing the low-cost Beowulf consept for Finnish R&D companies and research institutes. The project evolved later on to wireless node communications and active network research.

Current Activities

Currently the cluster platform is used in developing parallel network simulator for large radiocommunication networks (Autoconfigurative Radiocommunication Networking, AURA). The system has also been used as a development platform for distributed ASIC development in Telecommunication Systems research. The distributed parallel computing system is utilised by several other research areas at VTT Electronics (e.g. Optoelectronics) in their research activities.

Telaketju Parallel Computing Environment

VTT Electronics' Telaketju computing environment consists of two Beowulf type computer clusters. Both clusters are based on off-the-shelf PC components and are running open source software. The clusters support currently the MPI and PVM message-passing-software for node communication, and our ANDI (Active Network -based distribution) application interface for enhancing the development and management of active applications.


Smaug was our first Beowulf type supercomputer and it was built in spring 1998, being the first real Beowulf-type cluster in Finland. At first this cluster was called as Telaketju. After introducing a new, bigger, cluster, we decided to change the name of the old Telaketju. Telaketju is now the name of the whole Beowulf type supercomputer environment at VTT Electronics. The Smaug was targetted to be a hardware simulation platform, which could utilise different interconnection network topologies. One of the aims was to create a "modular" software defined radio simulation platform for xDSL-modem development.

Smaug in nutshell

Processing units: 9
Processor type: Pentium II 266 MHz
Total memory: 1152 MB
Total disk capasity: 36 GB
Interconnection network: 100BaseTX Fast Ethernet
Network topology: 3D hypercube and star topologies


Glaurung is our main parallel computer. The building was started during the January 2000 and the final form was achieved in spring 2000. Several system upgrades are planned for the years 2003 and 2004, including network and software upgrades.

Glaurung in nutshell

Processing units: 32
Processor type: Pentium III 500 MHz
Total memory: 16384 MB
Total disk capasity: 266.4 GB
Interconnection network: 100BaseTX Fast Ethernet
Network topology: Star topology (5D hypercube in plans)


The name Ancalagon is reserved for future use...

Contact: Jyrki Huusko

Last modified 7th of May 2003