Linking Max Minis

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by SpecialEd, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. SpecialEd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm a consultant, and I'm going to need some processing power in the future. Not a lot at first, but down the road, I'm going to need more. So I'm looking for scalability solutions.

    I'm curious about the mini. I'm wondering if anyone has figured out a way to link mini's via the thunderbolt port. For example, lets say I buy a mini server, and want to expand it in a year, can I buy another mini, link via the thunderbolt port and expand my processors/ram/storage abilities?

    Kind of an xgrid solutions if you will via thunderbolt.

    Any idea if this is possible? Can anyone point me to some documentation that might help me out? I love the idea of being able to scale up like this if I can do it. It wouldn't take a lot to have a very powerful system.
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #2
    Hi, I am a consultant too, therefore I'll need to be paid for my advice. I am happy for you to subcontract, but I'll have to get my people to call your people and discuss the details and rates.

    There is currently no way to create a grid using Thunderbolt. You create them using a network.

    http://www.apple.com/science/hardware/gridcomputing.html
     
  3. SpecialEd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    #3
    Heheh

    Thanks theSeb,

    I appreciate the input. That's what I thought too. But I've heard speculation that someone might try to put a thunderbolt solution together for some time now. Since it's so much quicker than ethernet, it would be quite the powerful way to link systems and merge processing power. Maybe someday.

    BTW, I've asked my people to cut you a check. it's in the mail. :)
     
  4. spike8585 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    #4
    Maybe if we can get a pair of 10 Gigabit-Ethernet (10GE) to thunderbolt adapters :p.
     
  5. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #5
    That would be nice.
     
  6. PeterJP macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #6
    41.4% of the Top500 supercomputers use Gigabit Ethernet as their link technology. Do you mean you need more processing power than that ? :eek:

    IMHO, designing the application for a parallel system is the most important factor in the success of making it execute quickly. Not the interconnect. But you are certainly right that it would be cool to daisy chain a bunch of macs together :)


    Peter.
     
  7. SpecialEd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    #7
    do I NEED more power than that? probably not. However, I do love the simplicity of using thunderbolt. No switches required, a faster data backbone, security, etc. I don't think it would make anything 'faster' to use Thunderbolt, compared to gb ethernet, though it might. Rather, I'm just intrigued at the possibility.

    Think about this: you could replace a mac Pro fairly easily with a couple minis. Need more processors/Ram/etc? Just buy another mini. All that's needed is a thunderbolt compatible pod where you could put some adapter slots, and you could now have a fully upgradeable expandable system that can grow to almost any size you need.

    It's in my mind that Apple might do away with the Mac Pro. If they do, this type of processing model could replace it. It wouldn't take much to build a tower designed to house linked minis with space to put your expansion cards, etc.

    Maybe I'm just dreaming. But I kind of like the idea.
     
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #8
    Do a search for xMac on these forums and you will find threads of people discussing just this sort of thing as the future Mac Pro
     

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