Build your own inexpensive super-computing cluster with Raspberry Pi 3's

By: (plus.google.com) +David Herron; Date: April 15, 2018

Tags: Raspberry Pi » Raspberry Pi Zero » Cluster Computing

Want a cheap super-computer farm? A Raspberry Pi cluster can pack a lot of computing power into a small space at low energy consumption. Single-board-computers like the Raspberry Pi 3 are inexpensive, consume a miniscule amount of power, run Linux making them instantly accessible by all programmers, and support all kinds of computing tasks, including supercomputing. The Raspberry Pi's themselves run off a USB power supply you might otherwise use to charge cell phones. Simply stack a bunch of them up, wire them to an ethernet switch, and you have a computing cluster on the cheap.

Let's look at an example Raspberry Pi cluster project. The overall architecture is shown above, and some videos are below.

With careful choice of components it's possible to power the whole system off a USB charger that you'd use for charging cell phones. That means you have N Raspberry Pi's, plus N ethernet cords and N USB cords and N SD cards. N is probably going to equal 8, because the Pi's will be connected to an ethernet switch, and most switches have 8 ports.

As it says in the image, one of the Pi's is set aside to serve as a router. It will have a NAT gateway configured, and a DHCP server to assign IP addresses. The Pi's will therefore be on a private network, and any traffic between the Pi's will not affect your home network.

Suggested parts are:

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard:
Samsung 16GB up to 48MB/s EVO Class 10 Micro SDHC Card with Adapter (MB-MP16DA/AM)
Samsung 16GB up to 48MB/s EVO Class 10 Micro SDHC Card with Adapter (MB-MP16DA/AM):
TRENDnet 8-Port Unmanaged 10/100 Mbps GREENnet Ethernet Desktop Plastic Housing Switch,TE100-S8
TRENDnet 8-Port Unmanaged 10/100 Mbps GREENnet Ethernet Desktop Plastic Housing Switch,TE100-S8:
iMBAPrice 1' Cat5e Network Ethernet Patch Cable, 10 Pack, Black (IMBA-CAT5-01BK-10PK)
iMBAPrice 1' Cat5e Network Ethernet Patch Cable, 10 Pack, Black (IMBA-CAT5-01BK-10PK):
GeauxRobot Raspberry Pi 3 Model B 4-layer Dog Bone Stack Clear Case Box Enclosure also for Pi 2B B+ A+ B A
GeauxRobot Raspberry Pi 3 Model B 4-layer Dog Bone Stack Clear Case Box Enclosure also for Pi 2B B+ A+ B A:
OdiySurveil(TM) 6Pcs Aluminum Chips VGA RAM Cooling Cooler Heatsink for IC MOSFET SCR,DIY for Raspberry Pi
OdiySurveil(TM) 6Pcs Aluminum Chips VGA RAM Cooling Cooler Heatsink for IC MOSFET SCR,DIY for Raspberry Pi:
100 Pcs M2.5 x 10mm + 6mm PC Board Hexagonal Hex Threaded Spacer
100 Pcs M2.5 x 10mm + 6mm PC Board Hexagonal Hex Threaded Spacer:
Anker [4-Pack] PowerLine Micro USB (1ft) - Charging Cable for Samsung, Nexus, LG, Android Smartphones and More (Black)
Anker [4-Pack] PowerLine Micro USB (1ft) - Charging Cable for Samsung, Nexus, LG, Android Smartphones and More (Black):
AC Infinity MULTIFAN S5, Quiet Dual 80mm USB Fan for Receiver DVR Playstation Xbox Computer Cabinet Cooling
AC Infinity MULTIFAN S5, Quiet Dual 80mm USB Fan for Receiver DVR Playstation Xbox Computer Cabinet Cooling:
Sabrent 60 Watt (12 Amp) 10-Port Family-Sized Desktop USB Rapid Charger. Smart USB Charger with Auto Detect Technology
Sabrent 60 Watt (12 Amp) 10-Port Family-Sized Desktop USB Rapid Charger. Smart USB Charger with Auto Detect Technology:

As a Supercomputing cluster, we're likely to want to run these machines at full computation capacity. That means the CPU's will run hot, and will need cooling. That is the function of the heat sinks and fans. The heat sinks are easy to install - simply peel off the covering on the tape, and affix to the CPU. The heat sinks by themselves don't keep the CPU's cool enough, so USB-powered fans will move enough air over the Raspberry Pi's to keep them cool.

The stand-off screws are a simple way to attach Raspberry Pi's together. You simply thread the screws into holes on the boards, and screw them together. Other mounting systems have you attach each Raspberry Pi to a carrier board, then the carrier boards are screwed together with stand-off screws. This approach is simpler.

Powering the Pi's requires a USB power supply with enough capacity to run the whole system. Pay careful attention to the ratings to be sure the charger has enough capacity. To minimize voltage drop, the chosen USB cords are short, and the positive/negative leads in the cords are larger than normal to carry more current.

An eight-node Raspberry Pi cluster requires a 10-port USB charger. Eight ports are required for the Pi's, one port for the USB fans, and one port for the ethernet switch shown here.

The ethernet switch does not natively support being powered from USB. However its power requirement fits within the power capacity of a USB charging cord. To make it work requires a USB to Type M Adapter Cable, which is readily available.

The Raspberry Pi cluster can use the ethernet switch as a case. Simply disassemble the ethernet switch, drill some holes in the top cover to match holes on the bottom Raspberry Pi.

« PAY ATTENTION: Facebook showing users permissions granted to 3rd party apps Installing macOS High Sierra on a MacBook Pro or other Mac that is not supported by High Sierra »
2016 Election Acer C720 Ad block AkashaCMS Amazon Amazon Kindle Amazon Web Services America Amiga and Jon Pertwee Android Anti-Fascism AntiVirus Software Apple Apple Hardware History Apple iPhone Apple iPhone Hardware April 1st Arduino ARM Compilation Artificial Intelligence Astronomy Astrophotography Asynchronous Programming Authoritarianism Automated Social Posting AWS DynamoDB AWS Lambda Ayo.JS Bells Law Big Brother Big Finish Bitcoin Mining Black Holes Blade Runner Blockchain Blogger Blogging Books Botnets Cassette Tapes Cellphones China China Manufacturing Christopher Eccleston Chrome Chrome Apps Chromebook Chromebox ChromeOS CIA CitiCards Citizen Journalism Civil Liberties Clinton Cluster Computing Command Line Tools Comment Systems Computer Accessories Computer Hardware Computer Repair Computers Cross Compilation Crouton Cryptocurrency Curiosity Rover Currencies Cyber Security Cybermen Daleks Darth Vader Data backup Data Storage Database Database Backup Databases David Tenant DDoS Botnet Detect Adblocker Developers Editors Digital Photography Diskless Booting Disqus DIY DIY Repair DNP3 Do it yourself Docker Docker MAMP Docker Swarm Doctor Who Doctor Who Paradox Doctor Who Review Drobo Drupal Drupal Themes DVD E-Books E-Readers Early Computers Election Hacks Electric Bicycles Electric Vehicles Electron Emdebian Encabulators Energy Efficiency Enterprise Node EPUB ESP8266 Ethical Curation Eurovision Event Driven Asynchronous Express Face Recognition Facebook Fake News Fedora VirtualBox File transfer without iTunes FireFly Flickr Fraud Freedom of Speech Front-end Development Gallifrey git Github GitKraken Gitlab GMAIL Google Google Chrome Google Gnome Google+ Government Spying Great Britain Heat Loss Hibernate Hoax Science Home Automation HTTP Security HTTPS Human ID I2C Protocol Image Analysis Image Conversion Image Processing ImageMagick In-memory Computing InfluxDB Infrared Thermometers Insulation Internet Internet Advertising Internet Law Internet of Things Internet Policy Internet Privacy iOS Devices iPad iPhone iPhone hacking Iron Man iTunes Java JavaScript JavaScript Injection JDBC John Simms Journalism Joyent Kaspersky Labs Kindle Kindle Marketplace Lets Encrypt LibreOffice Linux Linux Hints Linux Single Board Computers Logging Mac Mini Mac OS Mac OS X Machine Learning Machine Readable ID macOS MacOS X setup Make Money Online March For Our Lives MariaDB Mars Mass Violence Matt Lucas MEADS Anti-Missile Mercurial MERN Stack Michele Gomez Micro Apartments Microsoft Military AI Military Hardware Minification Minimized CSS Minimized HTML Minimized JavaScript Missy Mobile Applications Mobile Computers MODBUS Mondas Monetary System MongoDB Mongoose Monty Python MQTT Music Player Music Streaming MySQL NanoPi Nardole NASA Net Neutrality Network Attached Storage Node Web Development Node.js Node.js Database Node.js Testing Node.JS Web Development Node.x North Korea npm NVIDIA NY Times Online advertising Online Community Online Fraud Online Journalism Online Photography Online Video Open Media Vault Open Source Open Source Governance Open Source Licenses Open Source Software OpenAPI OpenVPN Palmtop PDA Patrick Troughton Paywalls Personal Flight Peter Capaldi Phishing Photography PHP Plex Plex Media Server Political Protest Postal Service Power Control Privacy Production use Public Violence Raspberry Pi Raspberry Pi 3 Raspberry Pi Zero ReactJS Recaptcha Recycling Refurbished Computers Remote Desktop Removable Storage Republicans Retro Computing Retro-Technology Reviews RFID Right to Repair River Song Robotics Rocket Ships RSS News Readers rsync Russia Russia Troll Factory Russian Hacking Rust SCADA Scheme Science Fiction SD Cards Search Engine Ranking Season 1 Season 10 Season 11 Security Security Cameras Server-side JavaScript Serverless Framework Servers Shell Scripts Silence Simsimi Skype SmugMug Social Media Social Media Warfare Social Network Management Social Networks Software Development Space Flight Space Ship Reuse Space Ships SpaceX Spear Phishing Spring Spring Boot Spy Satellites SQLite3 SSD Drives SSD upgrade SSH SSH Key SSL Stand For Truth Strange Parts Swagger Synchronizing Files Telescopes Terrorism The Cybermen The Daleks The Master Time-Series Database Tom Baker Torchwood Total Information Awareness Trump Trump Administration Trump Campaign Twitter Ubuntu Udemy UDOO US Department of Defense Virtual Private Networks VirtualBox VLC VNC VOIP Vue.js Web Applications Web Developer Resources Web Development Web Development Tools Web Marketing Webpack Website Advertising Weeping Angels WhatsApp William Hartnell Window Insulation Windows Windows Alternatives Wordpress World Wide Web Yahoo YouTube YouTube Monetization