[Beowulf] openMosix ending

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Mon Jul 16 10:24:12 PDT 2007

On Mon, 16 Jul 2007, Jeffrey B. Layton wrote:

> Afternoon all,
> I don't know how many people this affects, but I thought it was
> worth posting in case people are using openMosix. The
> leader of openMosix, Moshe Bar, has announced that the
> openMosix project is ending.
> http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?forum_id=715406
> While I haven't used openMosix, I've seen it used and it is
> pretty cool to see processes move around nodes.

Yeah, but it has nearly always had a few tragic flaws.  One was that it
was always basically a hack of a specific kernel version and image,
meaning that if you used it you were outside of a working kernel update
stream.  The second was that it was basically a hack of a specific
kernel version and image at all, where one really would prefer a tool
that did the same thing outside of kernel space (like Condor, for
example).  It survived those flaws, of course -- but it cannot survive
the advent of virtualization, which will provide new pathways for this
sort of thing to be done with far greater ease and stability.

For example, one of the "problems" with migration has always been the
heterogeneity of the possible migration targets.  One could never be
certain that a target system is provisioned identically to the
originating system, and it hasn't been terribly easy to determine if it
has "enough" of various key resources to map a migrating process into
them.  Then there are the many state issues associated with moving from
one network to another, one local file to another, one allocation of
memory to another.  Virtualization has the potential to radically change
all of that as one provisions VMs with precisely the same "virtual
hardware" independent of what the actual hardware is underneath.  In
fact, if OpenMosix were to survive, it would most likely survive as a
prepackaged VM.  In such a form one wouldn't CARE so much about whether
the kernel was current or recent enough to support your real hardware.


> Jeff
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Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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