Understanding Amdahl's Law

Posted by deadline on May 25, 2006 6:04 PM EDT
clustermonkey.net; By Robert Brown
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The software world is becoming more distributed every day. The rise of multi-core processors, clusters, and grids means thinking about parallel program execution. Before you plan world domination though parallel computing, you may want to learn some of the basics rules of the game.

For instance, clustering seems almost too good to be true. If you have work that needs to be done in a hurry, buy ten systems and get done in a tenth of the time. If only it worked with kids and the dishes. Alas, kids and dishes or cluster nodes and tasks, linear speedup on a divvied up task is too good to be true, according to Amdahl's Law, which strictly limits the speedup your cluster can hope to achieve.

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