Beowulf & VMWare

Justin Moore justin at
Thu Oct 31 10:56:42 PST 2002

> The second is that there are at least some people working on other GPL
> solutions to this sort of problem (multiple use of compute resources).
> One is a gradulate student here, Justin Moore, who has been working on a
> very interesting OS loader variant that might one day form a very
> elegant solution indeed to this sort of problem, to the extent that you
> could authorize nighttime use of a desktop system by an arbitrary user
> who could remotely boot to an arbitrary OS and mount or transfer
> arbitrary file resources, all in a sandbox that isolates the local disk
> and computer from the remote user and restores EXACTLY the usual desktop
> environment when the remote usage terminates.

   Dammit, it's a "resource management framework", not just an OS
installer!</auto-buzzwords> :) But, yes, one of the test cases coming up
next semester is running a small cluster of Windows servers for an
E-commerce class during classtime, then booting back into Linux for the
rest of the time.  Each student in the class will have a server image
that they can load onto local disk during class, work on it, then save
it when done.  Additionally, from their dorm rooms at night they can
load their image onto a machine in the department cluster (possibly) and
work on it from there (yay for cygwin sshd).

   But the actual research is for scheduling policies.  The automated
framework is just a first step; plumbing, as it were.

> Pretty challenging, but basically clever software.  It should be
> interesting to see what comes of these efforts.

   Lots of frustration and cursing a the shortcomings of various
bootloaders, ATM. :) The project page is here

and has some papers and presentations for anyone who's interested.  More
to come later (in my copious free time).


Department of Computer Science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0129
Email:	justin at

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