[Beowulf] Heterogeneous, intermitent beowulf cluster administration

Dmitri Chubarov dmitri.chubarov at gmail.com
Wed Oct 2 20:44:28 PDT 2013


I would like to contribute to this thread a link to the international
desktop grids federation at http://desktopgridfederation.org/
This community is quite active in Europe and perhaps in other parts of the
world. They deploy BOINC and derivatives and run conferences to discuss
applications that can benefit from desktop grid type of computing.

Best regards,

On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 8:00 PM, Ivan M <ispmarin at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> I have access to a bunch (around 20) machines in our lab, each one with a
> particular configuration, usually some combination of Core i5/i7 and
> 4GB/8GB/16GB RAM (the "heterogeneous" part), connected by a 24 ports Cisco
> switch with reasonable backplane. They're end user machines, but with the
> current lab occupation only a fraction of them are used constantly, but
> which ones change every day. They are all running Debian stable. I got an
> idea: why not use the downtime to run some parallel simulations, instead of
> using the university cluster?
> They main problems now are:
> 1) System administration: for now I'm doing the clusterssh way to
> update/configure/install new software, but this can be very cumbersome, as
> one of the machines can be being used and so I can't change its
> configuration, so I have to keep track of which ones have changed. Maybe
> puppet can help here?
> 2) Managing resources: knowing which machine is up and available withou
> having to shout, and knowing the available configuration to allocate jobs
> that can fit in that particular machine, etc. There are extreme cases when
> the machine needs to be rebooted to run some Windows program.
> 3) Migrating jobs (the intermitent part): any machine can be requested by
> a user at any time, so if I have a parallel job running I would have to
> migrate the job to another machine, preferably without stopping the other
> jobs. We are running mostly ROMS over MPI and some in-house simulations
> that use a combination of OpenMP and MPI.
> Does anyone have any experience or pointers on how to address these
> issues? It seems a waste not to use those idle machines...
> Ivan Marinhttp://scholar.google.com.br/citations?user=faM0PCYAAAAJ
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