I got a good one for you guys

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by frescies, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. frescies macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    How would you go about setting up 2 or more macs as a processing cluster? I'd like to set up a system that will let me use multiple macs in a cluster with one main mac that uses the processing power from other macs in the system. Also how would you set it up so that it was somewhat hotplugable..... for instance, a laptop could be removed from the system (network?) and would only require minor reconfigurations to hook it back up again (or no reconfigs at all). I imagine the software setup would be the worst part... Hooking up things in a network seems easy... can this be done over ethernet?

    Curious,
    David
     
  2. shadowfax0 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #2
    this would be a good question if you were a software developer: the folks at Appleseed are working on this right now (with Rendezvous and all that) however, you make one fatal error when it comes to the idea of clustering: the programs you run on it must be designed to run on it, it won't "...just use the processing power..." of another computer; it jsut doesn't work like that. However, if you can write FORTRAN which is very good for math and everything, clustering would be a dream (or 3D apps, or alot of other things) but as for zero-config clustering, you may have to wait a year or two ;) So go to google.com and type in Appleseed and read all about it! Cheers!
     
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #4
    Yes I've worked with Appleseed in the past, we did a cluster of 12 5400's, but could only test it with a particular fractal generating program, as software must be written to be broken up over the processors. You also need software to assign the processors work, and then gather it up again. We used LaunchDenMother&Puppy, i've not heard of an X version of it, but there again you need special software, it's not worth the trouble unless you already have something like that...

    it's not a terrifically easy thing to acomplish... you're better off going dual-processor, because then the OS knows which processor to assign individual tasks to (it doesn't break jobs apart unless a program is optimized for it).

    So, basically, unless you're quite handy with writing programs from scratch, you're SOL.

    pnw
     
  4. Choppaface macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Location:
    SFBA
    #5
    from another thread on this board, check out a program called Pooch...it might help
     
  5. frescies thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    Yeah...

    Thats unfortunate that each individual software element has to be programed to utilize a cluster. Perhaps it's theoretically possible to program an OS for such (as X is programed for DPs).

    It would be nice (again, theoretically) to hook up 4 or 5 macs and have everything pick up from there. Or better yet!..... They could sell processING upgrades... a little box with a processor. Plug it into your firewire port (or an open ethernet port on a switch) and your system controller (or any system controller in any network node) could recognize it and split up the tasks for it.
     
  6. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #7
    Pooch

    Yeah I think you read that in my thread. Ok guys, I need a little help. I have a G4 400 and a G4 500 networked over full duplex 100 base T.

    I am using Pooch to cluster them. It came with a program (Altivec Fractal Carbon) to test the clustering speed. On my G4 400MHz ALONE, I had about 1250 MegaFlops. Then, I utilized the G4 500MHz and got about 2300 MegaFlops.

    I was wondering if there are any Folding@Home programs that I could use this with.

    Or any other programs?
     
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #8
    Re: Yeah...

    More unfortunate is this: In dual processor machines, the OS does not divide jobs, it simply assigns individual jobs to each processor, depending on the size of the jobs and the current activity of the processors. So one may work on opening a window, then another, then opening a program, while the other processor is working on a PS render. This is a bad example, but you know what i mean. In clustering, generally you're doing one job at a time, so an OS could not break the job apart, merely assign other jobs to the other processors in the cluster-- Essentially, you'd still be using a single processor for whatever task you're doing.

    Many people have speculated at the possibility of creating an OS that can inherently break apart jobs into smaller fragments that can then be processed on multiple processors; however the range of tasks that could be involved is just too great at present time.

    :)
    pnw
     
  8. eyeluvmyimac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    #9
    this has a lot of potential and will probably be the "new thing" of the future. maybe the g5 can do that? do we know the features of the g5 just not the time? anyways, maybe not so soon as the g5, but whatever the case, this has a lot of potential.

    Breaking up tasks into smaller fragments for mulitple processors to handle, then group it back up, things would more than double in speed, that's huge.
     

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