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Xgrid Agent for Unix

pudge posted more than 9 years ago | from the beowulf-strikes-again dept.

Unix 219

mac-diddy writes "Someone on Apple's mailing list for Xgrid, Apple's clustering software, just announced an 'Xgrid agent for Linux and other Unix platforms' available for download. There are still some issues being worked on like large file support, but it does allow you to simply add a Unix node to your existing Xgrid cluster. Just goes to show that when companies embrace open standards and code, the world doesn't fall apart."

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219 comments

My Experience (5, Interesting)

artlu (265391) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513200)

My company has had experience using XGRID on our G4 notebooks. We always leave XGRID running and when we are at the office it is like having 20-30CPUs available at any given time. Now with Linux, we can have about 300 CPUs available, I just wonder how efficient it really is in the non-osx atmosphere.
Time to find the download.

GroupShares Inc. [groupshares.com] - A Free Online Investment Community

Re:My Experience (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513416)

PLEASE STOP PIMP'N YOUR COMPANY/IDEA ... I think we the slashdot.org community has read over your idea too many times. I am still not impressed...

Firstes Postes! (-1, Offtopic)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513202)

Trolle! Trolle!

Re:Firstes Postes! (-1, Offtopic)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513228)

Is there anything lamer than bragging about your hardware in your signature? Do you really think people give a shit about your ibook and ipod !?

Re:Firstes Postes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513313)

Is there anything lamer than bragging about your hardware in your signature? Do you really think people give a shit about your ibook and ipod !?

I do. Between that info, his name, and his URL, i now know exactly where I'll be getting MY new ipod and ibook...

Re:Firstes Postes! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513580)

>>Trolle! Trolle!
>>Joey
>>iBook G4 800/640 MB/60 GB, 3G iPod 40 GB, Canon >>PowerShot A60

homo! homo!

Buttafuco

4 pair of jeans, a couple of stained shirts, weeks worth of boxers, beat-to-shit p3 800, rust bucket 92 nissan sentra, some ramen noodle...have i listed enough of my physical possessions yet?

Re:Firstes Postes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9514180)

You forgot to put double spaces between end punctuation -- just like you did in your masterful treatise on p2p, lamer!

Furthermore, you fail it!

How many clusters (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513209)

actually have hetergenous hardware platforms? It would be interesting to see a G5/Xeon/Athlon cluster make the top 10 in speed.

Re:How many clusters (5, Funny)

aixou (756713) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513249)

That would bring a tear to my eye. "I have a dream that one day, all different architectures can work together in a single cluster, and processors will be judged not by the flavor of their bits, but by the speed of their results."

Re:How many clusters (4, Funny)

foidulus (743482) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513261)

I have a dream that one day, all different architectures can work together in a single cluster, and processors will be judged not by the flavor of their bits, but by the speed of their results.
You forgot, "as long as they don't run Windows!"

Re:How many clusters (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513269)

I think you'll find thats to a large extent implied when you say 'different architectures.'

Re:How many clusters (3, Informative)

foidulus (743482) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513325)

Well, windows runs on Athlons and Xeons....and technically it runs on a G5(the XBox 2 dev kit that MS distributed is a modded NT kernel is run on a dual G5), so it's possible to do it on Windows, but why would you want to?

Re:How many clusters (4, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513496)

Well firstly, since Windows is more then just a kernel, just because the Dev kit has it does not mean Windows as a whole does. Secondly, Athalons, P4, Celerons and Xeons are all the same architecture, ia32. If you had used the P4 and say, Itanium or Opteron/A64 you would have a point, which is why I qualified the statement in the beginning with 'to a large extent.'

Re:How many clusters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513776)

Hmm, the kernel would probably be the worst to port without source code, you could probably port the rest over (well, not drivers) with comparative ease (and a very complete knowledge of x86 and ppc machine code). . .I wonder how long it will be before some frustrated mac user gives it a try?

Re:How many clusters (1)

foidulus (743482) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514074)

Heh, well, this whole argument ignores the fact that Virtual PC will run XP totally on a G4, and, *someday* will run it on a G5, though I'm not really sure you would want virtual pc running on a cluster, kind of defeats the purpose...

Time to break out that old NT 4.0 CD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513574)

There's a subdirectory PowerPC...
Hmm, will that install on a Powerbook ??

Re:Time to break out that old NT 4.0 CD (1)

O (90420) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513765)

Hmm, will that install on a Powerbook ??

Nope. But, it probably would on a ThinkPad 850 [dti.ne.jp] .

imagine (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513219)

imagine a beo...oh...

Re:imagine (4, Funny)

wpmegee (325603) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513409)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of /. trolls!

Re:imagine (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513481)

Don't have to.

Re:imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513613)

i don't know what it is...but using the term beowolf cluster just rocks.

the only thing better is saying it aloud.

go ahead. you know you want to.

say it.

beowolf cluster

ahhhhhhhh. wonderful...just rolls off the tongue.

Re:imagine (1)

bursch-X (458146) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513711)

It would roll off your tongue even better, if you'd spell it right.

The guy's name is Beowulf.

Mixed Company (3, Insightful)

jasno (124830) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513224)

Somewhat silly, but wouldn't you incur a bit of overhead mixing machines of different endian-ness? I suppose for non-communication intense algorithms this wouldn't be a big deal.

Re:Mixed Company (4, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513297)

Somewhat silly, but wouldn't you incur a bit of overhead mixing machines of different endian-ness? I suppose for non-communication intense algorithms this wouldn't be a big deal.

Not really. Everyone uses network byte order for communication, so you won't have more overhead in a mixed system than you would in a homogenous system.

Re:Mixed Company (4, Informative)

kma (2898) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513731)

Not quite. "Network byte order" is big endian. So on big endian ppc's, which macs are, all those "ntos" macros, etc., expand to NOPs. Once you introduce little endian machines into the mix, they start doing real work to transform internal representations for the wire.

The real tragedy is when you have homogenously little endian machines; e.g., a network that only has PCs on it. An integer gets byteswapped twice to end up in exactly the same byte order it was all along.

Re:Mixed Company (4, Interesting)

DonGar (204570) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513819)

What's worse.... that often ends up happening for loopback connections.

Re:Mixed Company (3, Informative)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513891)

So on big endian ppc's, which macs are, all those "ntos" macros, etc., expand to NOPs. Once you introduce little endian machines into the mix, they start doing real work to transform internal representations for the wire.

not quite.
first, i think you mean "ntohs" (and ntohl and friends).
second, they are not macros. they are, in fact, real functions (in glibc, bsd libc, and windows' winsock library). i'd imagine it's the same on macs.
third, a macro that does nothing is not expanded to a NOP, it is simply removed by the preprocessor.

so, assuming the macs are conforming to bsd networking standards, ntohs is required to be a function, so there is still a function call per conversion (which is much more costly than doing the actual byteswap).

The real tragedy is when you have homogenously little endian machines; e.g., a network that only has PCs on it. An integer gets byteswapped twice to end up in exactly the same byte order it was all along.

a real high performance implementation (ie, the kernel) would not use ntohl, it would implement a similar byteswap macro. a byteswap can be done on x86 in one instruction, so it is fairly trivial to do.

Re:Mixed Company (3, Informative)

Tjp($)pjT (266360) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514145)

Unless ntohs is an inline function. Most compilers will optimize out inlines that return their calling argument unchanged. Of course reality differs and they are actually null macros on OS/X.
These routines convert 16 and 32 bit quantities between network byte order and host byte order. On machines which have a byte order which is the same as the network order, routines are defined as null macros.
The above quote brought to you by HMUG [hmug.org] .

Plenty of power to be had.... (3, Interesting)

Grant29 (701796) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513229)

This is really great news as it's becoming more popular to add CPU clusters to improve performance. Google is probably not the originator of this type of computing, but they have definately pushed it into the mainstream. Anyone living in NC might want to check out this new cluster going into RTP NC. I wonder if this will be the biggest cluser ever

http://www.rtp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=in_the_new s_item&id=159 [rtp.org]

--
9 Gmail invitations availiable [retailretreat.com]

Re:Plenty of power to be had.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513258)

How do you figure Google pushed it into mainstream? Perhaps they shed some light on it, but they didn't do anything to help foster the development of gridding platforms.

Re:Plenty of power to be had.... (1)

Grant29 (701796) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513390)

Everyone in an IT department has probably heard of how efficient the Google platform is. They have the ability to add and remove nodes easy and fast. Pick up an IT trade mag and they usually have information about the Google cluster. A lot of it is proprietary and secret, but some details are availiable. Such as the fact they have written thier cluster software from the ground up. They added more capability than just web searches. I'm sure they are putting it to use in the Gmail, Froogle, and News sections of their site now.

--
9 Gmail invitations availiable [retailretreat.com]

Re:Plenty of power to be had.... (1)

BlowChunx (168122) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513938)

I understand that Google has the ability to add nodes quickly, but my understanding is that the never remove nodes. They are left dead on the floor (or wherever...).

OH HOLY CRAP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513230)

I live on the east side of the Nevada border, and I just happened to look out the window just in time to see CALIFORNIA FALLING INTO THE OCEAN. OH MY GOD.

Well, I guess this finally proves the "open source makes the world fall apart" theory is true. Apple open sourced components of XGrid, and now the north american continent is falling apart piece by piece!! What more explicit proof could we get?? DAMN YOU, XGRID, I HAD CONCERT TICKETS IN CALI NEXT WEEK, NOW THEY'RE WORTHLESS.

Kinda Cool (5, Insightful)

hypermike (680396) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513231)

Imagine waking up one day to find your Mac has solved a vexing scientific problem. While the cure to cancer, super-efficient solar power and ending world hunger are a ways off, you can combine your computing resources using Xgrid -- and help usher in a new era of biological breakthroughs, rocket science and advanced models of scientific phenomena.

Everything is better clustered...

How would that work? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513257)

[iMac] GOOD MORNING

[Me] Good morning, computer. How are you?

[iMac] PRETTY GOOD. I SOLVED A VEXING SCIENTIFIC PROBLEM LAST NIGHT.

[Me] Oh is that so.

[iMac] YEAH. I FOUND A SOLUTION TO THE HEISENBERG-BERTELLSMAN PROTEIN FOLDING DELIMMA.

[Me] Huh.

[iMac] THE ANSWER TURNED OUT TO BE 42.

[Me] .. That's... nice. So how about some Doom 3 then?

[iMac] OK

Re:How would that work? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513507)

[iMac] ALSO, MY SPELL CHECKER NEEDS AN UPGRADE.

[Me] Ok. Also, could you not use so many caps? It's like YELLING.

Re:How would that work? (1)

Ffakr (468921) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513564)

Oh, come on.. that snippy reply is way funnier than the original post. ;-) How the hell to I mod it up?

Re:How would that work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513771)

[iMac] THE ANSWER TURNED OUT TO BE 42.

[Me] .. That's... nice. So how about some Doom 3 then?


[iMac] I'm sorry, Dave, but this mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

I've been dying to know.... (4, Interesting)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513250)

I have my G4 powerbook, 866 and my 800mHz iMac on my LAN at home.

If I use XGrid on the two, what kind of performace could I use it for day to day?

Faster compiles of applications would be the first thought. Any usefulness, say running photoshop? How about Quake? MAME?

Re:I've been dying to know.... (4, Insightful)

Colol (35104) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513364)

Of the applications you've mentioned, only compiling things in Xcode would have any benefit. To utilize Xgrid, the application has to be written for it, which most apps simply aren't (and given turnaround issues, it would be suck for things like Quake and MAME).

Xgrid's main benefit is in "grunt work" calculations that aren't necessarily needed immediately. Things like SETI@Home or Folding@Home would be the sort of thing Xgrid excels at: throw some data out, have it processed, get it back when it's done.

While Apple has made clustering drop-dead easy, it's really not targeted at the home or small-business user, and the potential uses are pretty limited in that field.

Re:I've been dying to know.... (4, Informative)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514099)

To utilize Xgrid, the application has to be written for it

Not so, not so.

If your problem is embarrassingly parallel, chances are you can use Xgrid to run it right now.

For example, let's say you're rendering a 3D animation. (I haven't done real 3D work since the PowerAnimator days, so pardon me of some of my jargon is antiquated.) You've got a scene file on which you can run a render command. A command-line argument tells the renderer which frame to render.

No problem. Just use use Xgrid's Xfeed plugin. Xfeed lets you set up a job that runs a single command with a variety of command-line arguments. You tell Xfeed that you want to run the "render" command with "-f" and the numbers 1 through 720.

Xgrid goes to the first available machine on the grid and says, "Run render -f 1." Then it goes to the second machine and says, "Run render -f 2." And so on, until there are no available machines. Then it waits until a machine becomes available and says, "Run render -f n."

As each output file (a frame, in this case) becomes available, Xgrid (the client application itself, I mean) collects them in whatever directory you specified when you submitted the job.

The cool part comes when you realize that this isn't a cluster. It's a grid. That means machines can come and go as they please. If this job is running overnight, when I come in the next morning and sit down at my workstation, the agent on my computer stops the job and de-registers itself. The job goes back in the controller's queue for processing on whatever the next available machine is.

And you don't have to have any special software for this. It can be done right now with the tools that already exist in Preview 2.

hrmmm... (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514134)

Clueless n00b question:

Would it be possible to get this [sourceforge.net] to work over Xgrid?

At the high school I am teaching at, we have a lot of hardly used G4 eMacs and iMacs, and I would like to use them for something and perhaps even earn a little newsblurb about the school. I have been thinking about working with they SysAdmin to cluster the things and put them to good use. Xgrid seems like a good way to get them all working together, but I am very inexperienced in these sorts of things...

Any suggestions?

On a side note, it amazes me how many schools seem to have "jumped on the technology bandwagon" but after getting the equipment, really seem to have no idea what to do with it...

Re:I've been dying to know.... (2, Informative)

guile*fr (515485) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513378)

basically, for your kind of applications: nothing.

I doubt you compile applications that big
photoshop: get an smp instead and plugins that support it
quake,mame: u kidding get a faster gpu instead

Re:I've been dying to know.... (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513430)

You don't need XGrid for faster compilation - Developer Tools already includes distcc

it's about time... (0, Troll)

sovtekmidget (718312) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513298)

apple opened up and decides to let the rest of us non-mac-ites share in the fun

Re:it's about time... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513444)

Only part of the fun, though. You haven't tripped 'till you've been in the RDF.

So could someone please inform me (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513320)

How the developers actually benefit from OSS. The way I see it is that these people put the time and effort in to make a great product - which they give away for free.

Large corporations then download and use these products to increase productivity, get better results without paying a cent, but possibly making themselves even richer in the process. This isn't a troll, i'm just after an answer. I'm not saying OSS is bad, but i'm curious as to what motivates developers.

Re:So could someone please inform me (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513329)

How the developers actually benefit from OSS. The way I see it is that these people put the time and effort in to make a great product - which they give away for free.

In this case, Apple, the developer of XGrid, is benefiting because in order to use XGrid you have to buy hardware. Apple sells hardware.

In general it makes life easy (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513394)

In the past, as I have moved between jobs, I've written a number of Object->relational mapping tools.

After a while they cease to become fun to write, and you'd rather just get on with writing code that does something instead of infrastructure. By using and contributing to OSS projects, you can use the same code no matter what company you end up at. Because the code is portable it can become part of the package you can offer to a potential employer - they not only get an employee but potentially one that can producive almost right away because they are familiar with the tools they'll be using, with no cost to the company for said tools.

So it makes life easier for you, less re-work. And it makes life easier for employers, as they get richer products sooner. And if the employee becomes really proficient at a widely used OSS project they can write their own way through consulting or training.

Re:So could someone please inform me (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513447)

So could someone please inform me How the developers actually benefit from OSS.

Where did the developers get their development tools?

AHA!

KFG

Re:So could someone please inform me (5, Interesting)

tupps (43964) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513713)

Stop thinking of developers as individuals who are trying to sell a product and think of developers as people who work/contract for organisations.

Instead of buying a product that is 95% of what I want I can take a OSS package that is 90% of the way there and pay a developer to customise it to exactly my needs. Now I have a solution that is perfect for my business, maybe given something back to the OSS community. While if I had bought the product I would probably have to change my business to use the product. The company now is also free of licensing and upgrade issues. Also they do not have to worry about the vendor going out of business or introducing a new version with no support for the old version.

If you think of software as tools for business rather than something that a developer trys to sell OSS makes a lot more sense.

Re:So could someone please inform me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513743)

Maybe that's not the right way to look at it. The way I see it is that these people put the time and effort into making great tools, not end product. Now they, and everyone else, are free to use those tools to create great products, which they don't give away for free.

The mistake I see in every Microsoft attack on OSS and the great fallacy behind every purchased white-paper that predicts that OSS will destroy the economy is that writing and selling software is only a very small part of the economy! Most of the economy is involved in creating real, tangible things like cars and planes and food, etc, etc. Most of the economy is not involved in endlessly copying and selling the same pattern of bits.

OSS creates tools that promise to improve the creation of many, many things on this planet and improve the prosperity of all. The only ones threatened by this are those that have made a business of monoplizing ideas. Ideas that are so easy to duplicate or recreate that they are deliberately trying to setup and use the force of law to keep people from producing ideas on their own.

OSS is really a "paradigm shift". This phrase has been used so emptily so many times by senseless marketing droids that it has lost impact over the years. But it is here, it is now, and it is unstoppable. How can they stop it? We have the source!

Re:So could someone please inform me (5, Insightful)

eamacnaghten (695001) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513912)

I am involved in both proprietary and open software.

In the proprietary model the software is becoming worth less and less. 5 years ago run time licenses accounted for over 80% of the income of commercial software provider companies, now you will be lucky to see it account for 40% and it is going down rapidly. The rest being made up of support, training and other services.

However, the cost of producing software is the same, and what is more, it is an upfront cost. You cannot get money for it until after you have paid a programmer to write it.

Open source takes the above to a logical conclusion. As software is becoming relatively worthless (as far as run-time licenses go) you do not lose by giving the software away for free, and if you Open Source it you have available a 90% solution from free software out there before you begin thus cutting down on the production costs.

It is not about "giving stuff away" or people "not paying a cent" to use your software, it is about facilitating an extremely cost effective way for which software companies can provide services to the customer by using open source predecessors, and passing the benefit on to successors.

Re:So could someone please inform me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513914)

Well, when I develop a piece of software (or hire someone to do it for me), I solve one of my problems. That's the benefit. End of story, really.

For instance, I need a special library for an app. And none of the off-the shelf ones exactly match it. So I write it.

Now, I find out that other people have a similar problem. So I think to myself "well, I already got my ROI, so to speak. I solved my problem. So now I'll put this software out as open source and see what happens".

And people use the software in ways I didn't think of. They give suggestions on how it might be better. A few send in patches. Suddenly my solution is an even better solution, at no cost to me.

On the flip side: I download an open source library. It works okay, but there are some bugs and it needs a little refactoring. It will cost $1000 in labor to fix this library, vs. $5000 to write it from scratch. So I do it and send the patch to the author. The author is happy (free patch), I'm happy ($4000 worth of code for free), and I don't have to re-do my fixes in the next version! I sure wish commercial software worked that way.

A lot of folks make it seem that OSS is a bunch of people working for others, for free, like communists or something. Not true .. I write software *to benefit myself only*. I am a capitalist. I fully believe in free markets. I believe people should make as much as they can and get to keep it all. I also believe there's no justification for charging for something that costs nothing to copy, so I don't. It goes against my thinking: the only way something that costs nothing can be charged for is if you have authoritarian government enforcing it (which we do). Charge for service, sure. Charge for installation, sure. Charge for consulting, yup. Charge for the box, the CD, whatever. All of that takes time or materials and I can't "copy" it for the next guy.

Of course, you don't have to explain *how* OSS works. Just look and see that it exists and is self-sustaining, that's enough to prove that *something* about it works!

It Doesn't Show That At All! (3, Insightful)

Alphanos (596595) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513352)

Just goes to show that when companies embrace open standards and code, the world doesn't fall apart.

Don't get me wrong, I support open standards/code, but it doesn't show any such thing if this linux client has only just been released. I bet Apple, and others for that matter, will be watching sales of Mac machines for use in clusters. If they drop because everyone starts using linux PCs, then Apple will probably not try this again.

Re:It Doesn't Show That At All! (4, Insightful)

xchino (591175) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513442)

If everyone was going ot be using Linux PC's in their cluster, they would just use one of the existing clustering applications. The only reason anyone would use Xgrid is because they plan on using SOME mac nodes, which is better than none. This could increase sales by opening up Macintosh hardware to projects that couldn't use it before. Due to the cost of a Mac hardware, it is often not feasible to build an all Mac cluster, but if I can throw some G5's in here and there Apple gets some of my money as opposed to none.

Re:It Doesn't Show That At All! (5, Informative)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513579)

Actually, no it is quite feasible if you do it on a large scale and depending on what you use the cluster for. Big Mac and the Army cluster are two examples of where a mac cluster can be cheaper.

Actually (1)

wirefarm (18470) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514314)

Setting up an Xgrid cluster is braindead easy for someone familiar with installing standard Mac software. You don't have to commit much time or energy to the task to get it drawing Mandelbrot fractals using all of the computer power you have at hand. Even over wifi.

Once you get it running and figure out something useful to do with it, you could add a stack of linux boxes for a lot less than a stack of Macs. How much is a used 1Ghz PC? $50? I would consider adding 10 of those to my 3 Mac Xgrid, just for the coolness factor. If it would render frames for a video editor, all the better.

Apple is great at making complex technologies easy for anyone to use. Xgrid even has a big analog Tachometer widget that shows the available Ghz being consumed. It would be cheesy if it weren't so freaking cool.

Home cluster (3, Interesting)

vaguelyamused (535377) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513374)

I wonder how effective this really is for home use? Will the performance improvement on my Powerbook be worth running XGrid on it and firing up a couple older computers (600Mhz IMac, Pentium III 1.0 Ghz) on Linux/OS X and adding them to the cluster. Would 100Mbs Ethernet cut it, what about WLAN?

Re:Home cluster (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513463)

zero for home use. grid stuff is currently only good for science apps, although openmosix on linux is pretty cool for a linux network (not sure if works on macs). 10/100 cuts it alright, wireless is even better, just add openswan to protect your data

but.... (5, Funny)

jwcorder (776512) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513391)

"Just goes to show that when companies embrace open standards and code, the world doesn't fall apart."

But the world hasn't fallen apart using Microsoft either...oops, I said that outloud....

Re:but.... (2, Insightful)

javaxman (705658) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513554)

what world are *you* living in that hasn't fallen apart over the past few years??

I might like to move there, but I suspect, like some other folks, you've simply stopped following the news...

So, you're saying your PCs are completely problem-free? You don't get tons of spam and haven't heard of major web hosting services DDoSed by zombified Windows users? Huh.

Re:but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513854)

The only problem I have with my 4 Windows machines is that I spend too much time on them. As for spam, the only accounts that get spam are the webmaster@*** accounts that I have and my hotmail account. My personal email, the one at my work, and the one I use for the company I run on the side may get 1 to 2 pieces of spam a week. Of course, I don't post them everywhere I go either.

So my world is ok. Automatic updates are on, and my virus scanner updates everyday. Firewall protecting the network traffic. (I guess I do live in my own little world after all...thank you 6th grade English teacher.)

Re:but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9514031)

Nope. I don't get tons of spam. Never been infected by a worm or virus, either, and I've been using Windows non-stop since 3.11 (At least on one or more computers, not nessicarily all).

All you need is:

1: Firewall.
2: Common Sense.
3: Anti-virus (In case you don't have access to #2).

Re:but.... (1)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514094)

"Just goes to show that when companies embrace open standards and code, the world doesn't fall apart."

Well put! That's why I use a standard language like C# [ecma-international.org] over Java. (Can't link to the Java standard because there isn't one!)

GridEngine (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513412)

I find Sun Grid Engine better than other similar grid tools...

http://gridengine.sunsource.net

Re:GridEngine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513668)

that's because the other tools are PBS, Condor and LoadLever, all complete crap. Grid Engine is also crap, but at least doesn't have the 80s baggage.

Re:GridEngine (2, Informative)

dsouth (241949) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514040)

that's because the other tools are PBS, Condor and LoadLever, all complete crap. Grid Engine is also crap, but at least doesn't have the 80s baggage.
What's funny about this is that the actual lineage of GridEngine is DQS-->Codine-->Codine/GRD-->GRD-->GridEngine . So grid engine is indeed carrying that "80's baggage". And for that matter, LoadLeveler is actually a decendant of Condor (though it branched off so long ago I doubt there is much of the orignal left). You also left out the half-dozen or so decendents of NQS that all carry the same baggage. Actually, if I had to choose, I'd say Condor has the least baggage, mainly because it's been targeted for something rather different than what most batch schedulers do (in particular, the classad stuff is an interesting direction).

Personally, I found PBS to be the best open source solution last time I had to choose, but that was just prior to the Sun buyout of GRD, so things may have changed. [My current employer [llnl.gov] rolls their own batch scheduler, so I haven't had a need to survey the field for a few years.] There are also some things Condor rocks at (cycle scavanging, userspace checkpoint/restart/migration) which none of the others even attempt, so it's definitely worth a look for some sites.

If your paying $$ for your batch scheduler, LSF pretty much trumps all of them, but the price is too steep for me.

Why another technology (1, Flamebait)

Skaunch (413560) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513422)

Why does mac have to go out and roll-their-own clustering software when it would be a lot more helpful to embrase something like Globus [globus.org] which is being adopted for grid computing world wide.

It would fit right in as it can run on top of JBoss and prefers a *nix environment.

Either that or OpenMosix... but not another new one.

Well... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513529)

Because it's shitty Java crap, that's why.

Re:Why another technology (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513790)

Is "mac" some guy who works for Apple? Or do you normally refer to companies by their product names?

When will Windows write similar grid tools?
Why does Unix keep suing people?
When will Mac make a Windows box?

Re:Why another technology (1)

wahsapa (767922) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513820)

When will Windows write similar grid tools? - never Why does Unix keep suing people? - because lawyers suck When will Mac make a Windows box? - its the other way around, M$ has an NT kernal on PowerPC(nt on g5's anybody?)

Re:Why another technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513825)

You've got it wrong. It is spelled MAC, as in "In know a guy who has a MAC".

Pretty Interfaces.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513794)

Apple is good at writing pretty, easy to use interfaces over complex to configure things. Many of these complex things are written by people who ASSUME the end user has the same skill set as they do. But as we all know... The average computer users is an IDIOT. The average system administrator is usually no better.

Let's face it, some slash-dotters who don't even work as system administrators know more them.

Re:Why another technology (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9514241)

"Mac" "embrased" open standards, and produced an easy-to-use solution with a reasonable GUI that actually has a chance of being adopted by end users. Have you actually tried setting up Globus yourself? It ain't easy, and it doesn't really do the same thing as Xgrid. As for OpenMosix -- on OS X???

Zounds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513437)

"Just goes to show that when companies embrace open standards and code, the world doesn't fall apart."
Damn that Sun Microsystems! (You know they don't have real standards you know, Java has never been submitted to ECMA or whoever)

great job (2, Insightful)

rainman1976 (774702) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513452)

Good job with the clustering ... as for the pro-Mac users that believe that this should not be, keep in mind that the computer is just a tool to simplify a job. Using a pipe on the base of the wrench to solve a problem easier doesn't mean that Sears Craftsman is now going to start making longer wrenches, it just shows that people will use whatever they have to solve/simplify problems, and if it means clustering in non-Mac computers, then so be it. Job done, cheaper, simplier, and quicker. -Rainman

Re:great job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513525)

"as for the pro-Mac users that believe that this should not be"

Huh?

Nail in the GLOBUS coffin? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513455)

Let's hope so. OGSI? WSRF? Globus used to be okay. Web services are Wank.

Probably a silly question but... (2, Interesting)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513500)

Can anybody confirm if the linux and unix ports are smp aware?

Re:Probably a silly question but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513641)

I don't think Xgrid has anything to do with how the program runs locally. Xgrid is just a communication protocol for partitioning data to clients and organizing that data once it returns. It would be up to the program that Xgrid is sending data to to be smp aware.

Re:Probably a silly question but... (5, Informative)

Novajo (177012) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513857)

Can anybody confirm if the linux and unix ports are smp aware?

(I wrote the xgridagent).

As the other poster said, XGrid does not care what the binary does (so it can be smp aware, multi-threaded, whatever). However, the xgridagent itself is not explicitly smp aware, but it is multi-threaded. Each task is started in its own thread and depending on the OS(?) I guess they could spread to other CPUs. The other aspect of the question is "Does the Unix XGrid agent support MPI like Apple's GridAgent for OS X?". It does not and I can't say for sure how difficult it would be to support it. However, since all communication is done via the XGrid protocol, I don't see what would prevent it from being implemented. BUt other things need to be done first.

The most pressing issue is to fix the annoying "large message" issue which makes the agent hang (while it waits forever for the controller to accept more frames). I am convinced it is trivial, I just don't know enough about BEEP to fix it. I am hoping somebody who knows BEEP will take a look at xgridagent-profile.c and fix the xgridagent_SengMSG() function and send me the patch.

Daniel Côté

Apple embraces opensource? (-1, Troll)

cnmsales (761493) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513614)

I take from your original post "Just goes to show that when companies embrace open standards and code, the world doesn't fall apart." The only funny thing about this comment is that MS actually owns 40% of apple.

Re:Apple embraces opensource? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513666)

This troll is getting old. MS does not and never did own 40% of Apple. They bought a large chunk of non voting shares in exchange for making IE Apple's default browser. As soon as the 3 year contractual agreement was up, MS sold the shares, and for a decent profit.

Re:Apple embraces opensource? (4, Informative)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513716)

The only funny thing about this comment is that MS actually owns 40% of apple.

I wouldn't say that - I find it pretty amusing you've been registered at ./ for so long and are still so wrong.

p.s. I know I should reference - how about 'MS owns fuck all anymore' - will this [aviationhumour.co.uk] do?

Re:Apple embraces opensource? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9513736)

How you figure? See http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=aapl

Why bother? (2, Informative)

jweage (472545) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513701)

There are many other open source cluster/queuing systems available.

The one I prefer is OpenPBS [openpbs.org] . It works very well for engineering compute clusters, and there are many different resource schedulers available which use the PBS job and node management system.

Re:Why bother? (2, Interesting)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513990)

OpenPBS is shit. It needs about 25 3rd party patches(many of which have to be applied in order) to be halfway decent, (Altair Engineering doesn't actively develop it anymore so these patches won't be integrated into OpenPBS). Also it often falls flat on its face. I wouldn't want to use OpenPBS unless I had a trivially small cluster.

If you want something free, TORQUE is OK. It is a OpenPBS derivative (they started with the last OpenPBS version and added all the popular scalability and fault tolerance patches). TORQUE is actively developed under some DOE contracts, and even the company that has the DOE contracts to develop and support TORQUE will give other people some free support (I've had them on the phone helping to debug some of the code). You can get TORQUE from Supercluster.org.

PBS Pro is very good, but costs a lot unless you are a degree granting department (then it is free).

It's for ad hoc cluster creation... (4, Informative)

csoto (220540) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514202)

The other packages require a bit of planning, whereas Xgrid excels at locating nearby resources for pawning off processing tasks. Rendezvous (ZeroConf) is exactly about the need for ad hoc networking. Xgrid extends that to the cluster...

Good for home use too. (5, Interesting)

Gordon Bennett (752106) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513821)

Some households have a mix of computers and one can begin to see the benefits - for example, to halve the video compression time of iMovie when making a DVD.
Considering Apple's ease-of-use for heavyweight *NIX apps this would empower more people to have more computing resources available rather than the big fish out there - schools with low budgets would be able to stretch their capabilities that bit further. And so on.

Re:Good for home use too. (2, Informative)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514162)

for example, to halve the video compression time of iMovie when making a DVD.

Video compression is a difficult task to parallelize. If each frame were compressed individually it'd be easy: just and an uncompressed frame to a node and get the compressed frame back. But that's not how it works.

Now, for something like Pixlet, which is frame-based, there's the possibility of distributing the task. But you will never use Pixlet. It was designed to compress 2K or 1080 material losslessly at a ratio of about 2:1. Very specific tool for a very specific purpose.

So using Xgrid for video compression isn't going to be the wonder that you might wish it could be.

embracing? (4, Insightful)

dekeji (784080) | more than 9 years ago | (#9513974)

Xgrid is proprietary, closed-source software. I think that hardly counts as "embracing" open-source software. Many other parts of the Macintosh platform are proprietary and closed source as well.

I'm not disputing that Apple released Darwin source code. But before you start cheering, keep in mind that Darwin started out as open source: the CMU Mach kernel and bits and pieces of BSD. And it's not like Apple made a big sacrifice in releasing a kernel that looks and feels like half a dozen other open source kernels.

Re:embracing? (2, Insightful)

DeifieD (725831) | more than 9 years ago | (#9514375)

Well... At least they are releasing software for Linux... I don't think Photoshop would be OpenSource either. But Adobe releasing it for Linux would be considered embracing.
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