[Beowulf] Re: Redmond is at it, again

Laurence laurenceliew at yahoo.com.sg
Fri Jun 4 02:32:04 PDT 2004


Interesting that you bring up (5). 

I had such a conversation with my team several weeks
back and it is in our to-research list.

For now, a stop-gap measure we have is an easier to
use, web-based frontend to SGE which allows a "normal"
user to easily upload his code to run on a cluster...
we try to avoid SSH/Telent use.

however it still does not exactly address your concern
raised below... we have some ideas we would like to
try to make life easier for begining mpi programmers
to write distributed (or mpi) code.... 

We already have the basic framework to extract and
transfer information from/to the cluster to help in
the programming tasks.. now we just need to link in a
good editor.

Note that we are not going to pursue the
auto-parallization route but instead... work on
providing hints and useful information to the
programmer while he is coding and make his life
generally easier.


 --- Douglas O'Flaherty <douglas at shore.net> wrote: > 
> I wanted to add a 5th point to Laurence's excellent 
> summary that I 
> didn't see elsewhere.
> (5) The developers require an environment for rapid
> iterations of code 
> development targetted to clusters.
> Where Windows clusters have already been successful
> is in transfering PC 
> code to a compute farm for more efficient
> processing. Financial Analysis 
> using Monte Carlo comes immediately to mind. Tools
> such as Matlab (and 
> in another generation MSFT Visual Studio) can create
> code for 
> distributed computing. It's unlikely to be
> especially good MPI code, but 
> I bet it will work. Relative to QCD or modeling,
> Monte Carlo is barely 
> cluster computing, but it is a large and viable
> commercial market. This 
> is a similar driver for Xserves in the data centers
> of Life Science 
> researchers -- they already have Macs on their desks
> and they can turn 
> the code quickly.
> The list has discussed the sysadmin and economic
> point of views very 
> well, but there hasn't been much about how tools for
> the end-user will 
> influences the decisions. Joe captured some of this
> referring to the ISV 
> support.
> When Cornell deployed the Windows clusters back a
> few years, the typical 
> cluster developer grumbled some. The surprise was
> how many new users 
> asked to be on the Windows clusters. Many were not
> from the hard 
> sciences, but from economics and other departments
> who needed to do 
> numerical analysis. For the academics on this list,
> that may be an 
> un-tapped market for funds from other departments.
> You might learn to 
> like having a Windows cluster in the data center. I
> suggest calling it 
> Bofa ;)
> doug
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