XGrid Info?

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    utilizer writes:

    [someone] told me today that Apple does indeed have plans to perfect it's XServe cluster design and that the xGrid name will be utilized in it, similar to the way in which xRaid is designed. They also added [that] in some way this project was related to the delay in the xRaid project and that the Cluster design available for sale now is a stop-gap measure 'til the big thing happens. One more thing: It'll be heavily similar to Sun's Grid Engine, whatever that is...
     
  2. macrumors demi-god

    szark

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    Arid-Zone-A
    #2
    Information on Sun's Grid Engine can be found here.

    Very cool if it's true...
     
  3. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
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    1 Block away from NYC.
    #3
    Hm... may be good for buisness, but you never know do you?
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #4
    i don't know... i have trouble seeing how anyone would choose apple for these kinds of applications....

    it seems to me they don't have a chance in hell to make inroads on the corporate and server markets. windows and sun just dominate too heavily.

    does anyone have any information (facts) on how the xserve is doing?

    that said i think it's very cool that apple is doing this and who knows, with the 970's this might just be a viable business venture after all. i hope apple can get a bit more respect when/if the 970 delivers what we all hope it will.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    San Francisco
    #5
    Maybe they will not get into the corporate world, but this would be awesome for designers and such. They can have their power mac and then when they are doing major stuff the xGrid pounds it out. Need more power? Add another xserve to the grid....

    talk about sweet...:D
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #6
    You know, I find it interesting that you didn't mention what I consider to be the vastly more dominant platform for things like cluster, namely Linux. Every cluster that I've ever dealt with (in one industry setting, two scientific settings, and two educational settings) were all Linux clusters. I don't think that I've ever even heard of a Windows cluster.

    All of that said, I hope that Apple continues to push on in this direction. From what I've read, they could well develop this into a platform that can easily compete with everything else that's out there. :cool:
     
  7. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #7
    Apple looks to be on track with the Xserve

    http://www.insanely-great.com/news.php?id=2022

    The Xserve is doing just fine. Apple is smart to remain "humble" currently in this space. I can say with some certainty that while Microsoft is the Server of choice for Small and Midsize companies(speaking generally here with no empirical data) I think you'll find many upset companies about the difficulties of implementing Active Directory.

    The PPC 970 will help but Stability is valued over absolute speed in most environments.

    I think we eventually see Apple push into 2U configurations which are easier to Design. I think we see more Grid/Clustering solutions and Rendezvous. The next two updates to OSX Panther and ??? will probably really start to finetune some Network functionality. Apple should go from .003% Server Marketshare to enough to generate some real Revenue.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    jholzner

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Champaign, IL
    #8
    It seems that the key idea here is Unix...both Linux and Mac OS X are based on Unix...Windows isn't...seems clear that the platform of choice here is not some proprietary OS but one based on open source and a tried and true base (Unix). I think that Apple has a hit on there hands with OS X...it's perfect!!! Once the 970s hit the stage...Apple has EVERYTHING going for them. Their future is bright indeed!!
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #9
    i was being more general than just clustering. i was referring to apple's whole "IBM-ish" direction they are taking as a sideline. xserve. xraid. xgrid. a little off topic, or at least a path that should be been explained... of course you would never run windows in a clustering grid, why would you want to? too much overhead, too unstable, blah blah blah. *nix is stable and flexible and has a small footprint.

    mr. neuman said that this could good for designers. i guess we are talking video designers. i hope we are not saying that soon you'll need an xgrid to run photoshop. maybe just one for iphoto, imovie and itunes... :D but seriously, for say, users of say shake... they would design on the mac and then take the project over to their.... beowulf cluster :cool: on the other hand, it would be sweet to have an xserve, xraid and an xgrid in my basement. start my own animation company. be a major player with only $25,000 + the skills

    and i did just have another thought... FCP is becoming more and more intensive. With Soundtrack Content and livetype content FCP4 is looking to be VERY render intensive. i also make this guess (and i can't wait to get my hands on it) because they have added a lot of features to avoid rendering until you really are ready to. so yeah, another reason to have an xraif under your desk - other than those chilli winter nights:D
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    Location:
    Iowa
    #10
    Nope we never do but the fact that Shake 2 has this feature built in makes me believe that apple may not go toward the XGrid but rather toward seperate per application support. Comeon, I don't think I need MS Office running on XGrid :)

    A@ron
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    #11
    Never heard of a Windows Cluster? Thats what Windows Data Center was designed for, its actually pretty neat to see. Saw a demonstration when I was at the Windows 2000 launch a few years back. Especially since you could dynamically add / remove machines from the cluster in real-time, and watch graphs on how the cluster was performing.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    #12
    doh- forgot to actually respond.

    ppc chip's, unlike other's, processing power doesn't start a decling the more processors you add. in fact tests show there maybe no end to the amount of ppc processors that can be added.
    where on other processors the power from adding starts to slow down, until some point it really won't make it any faster to add more processors.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #13
    that sounds particularly interesting. do you have a link i could head over to?
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    #14
    Uhh.....then why is the G4 so bogged down? Because the 2 processors share a single (and slow) bus. The PIII and P4 Xeon use shared busses as well. The Athlons use a point-to-point, which is fast to the chipset, but slows down when using shared resources such as memory, video, or I/O.

    Putting processors in a cluster is better........seperate I/O, memory, etc, however then the network speed slows down the capabilities.....don't forget not only do you have network speed, but you have to decode the packets, figure out what they mean, and then tell the CPU whether to schedule new tasks, or transfer contents from memory to another CPU.......very slow process compared to telling a CPU where to look in shared memory in a SMP configuration.

    There are tradeoffs, but there is no such thing as a perfect configuration. The more CPUs, the less efficient you will be by design (on a total cycles efficiently used measurement). Of course, the more CPUs, the less you will notice some aspects, but under load, it will definately show its cracks.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Turkey
    #15
    not 4 MS Office

    you dont... the main reasons clusters are used are for rendering(sound,3D,etc.) cause I know this iBook is as quick as crap... I would kill for a xServe cluster... *sigh* *goes off into dreamland imagining rendering a Quicktime VR in 3 seconds... ahh...*:p
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Location:
    East Coast, US
    #16
    Sun GridEngine

    Here is the actual site that explains Sun's GridEngine Technology.

    The way this technology is used is very similar to the way AfterEffects can farm out render processes to other systems. The application itself has to be grid aware and this usually involves a re-write.

    For a good example of how this is used in the real world, look no further than Pixar. Pixar uses Sun Enterprise 4500s setup in a large GridEngine cluster. They write their own custom rendering software that can farm out rendering across many hundreds of systems.

    I'd heard that more recently Pixar was switching to Linux as the price/performance ratio of cheap Intel boxes has gone up.

    Apple is going to have a tough time making inroads to this highly competitive market. Lintel boxes have been eating into Sun's bottom line quite a bit and forcing them to sell low-end boxes for dirt cheap prices. You can now buy a SunFire V210 with 2 900mhz. UltraSparc III processors and 4GB of RAM for less than $3000. It's going to be tough for Apple's Xserve to compete with this, especially since the UltraSparc III clocked at 1.2ghz outperforms a Pentium IV Xeon at 3ghz. (due to a massive 8MB L2 cache).

    Just a little insight into this from a Sun employee. As always my opinions are not those of my employer.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    #17
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    #18
    I was speaking of clustering, sorry I didn't fully explain.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #19
    A computer for the rest uf us???

    A computer for the rest uf us? Well, where is it? All this talk of of scalar computing . . is not for the rest of us!!

    Do i need to really be able to spell check a document at something close to the speed of light? NO, Ineed to enjoy my sip of coffee!!!

    Steve's turtleneck sweater is still restricting blood from his brain.
    Delusions of grandious schemes (glory hog) is not going to make on the best platforms better . . . for the rest of us. I would like to see apple be a dominant mainstream machine . . . but you need to prove the geeks in taped glasses so wrong they just drop like flies in thier sheer ignorance!

    Just Gimme' a 128 bit G6 @ 20GHZ with 64 MB Total cache, 5Ghz board . . . . . and I want it next week . . . .

    Don't expect to see it from motorola, they can't even make a decent cell phone anymore (what R&D monies?)

    'nuff said
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    Snowy_River

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #20
    See? Now I have heard of a Windows cluster. :D
    (Though this was just a demonstration, not a cluster in use...)

    But, my point was that they are obviously pretty rare, even if MS has built the possibility into Windows. So, I do think that there is an obvious inclination toward *nix based clusters.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #21
    Re: Sun GridEngine

    Too bad for Sun, this is only true when the application absolutely needs tons of Cache.
    USIII is not a very impressive chip anymore.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Location:
    East Coast, US
    #22
    Re: Re: Sun GridEngine

    Not to nitpick, but server apps do. Multi-threaded web or database applications live on large L2 cache. If you are just encoding DVDs on your Windows XP machine then go with the PIV at 3ghz; you'll get better performance.

    As always, use the right tool for the job.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #23
    Re: Sun GridEngine

    Hey, if you're willing to sell me dual processor V210's with 4GB RAM for less than $3k I'll start up a reseller business tomorrow... ;-)

    In fact, if you look at your employer's web-site (here -> http://store.sun.com/catalog/doc/BrowsePage.jhtml?catid=100054) you'll find that it costs $5795.00!!

    Still not expensive (for what it is), but definitely not the bargain you make it out to be....
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #24
    i'm pretty sure i read pixar moved over to amd for their render farms....
     
  25. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #25
    Nope, Intel.
     

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