IBM goes grid

Jakob Østergaard jakob at unthought.net
Sat Aug 4 16:20:39 EDT 2001


On Thu, Aug 02, 2001 at 12:14:46PM -0400, Greg Lindahl wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 02, 2001 at 11:17:54AM -0400, Robert G. Brown wrote:
> 
> > It is interesting to think about how one would make a beowulf (in the
> > softer definition of a named cluster, not necessarily constrained to but
> > definitely including the strict/scyld/dedicated sense) a member of a
> > distributed "super" cluster with existing tools and minimal work.  Even
> > doing it inside our own department is going to be challenging.
> > 
> > Seems like a useful project for some grad students in CS departments
> > that concentrate on cluster computing, e.g. Clemson.  Walt?  Anybody?
> 
> Legion, Globus, and Condor all did this ages ago, and others
> too. What do you think that's new that can be done?

Here's a few:

Automatic on-the-fly parallelization so that problems adapt to the current
state of the cluster/grid.

Sand-boxed execution of code so that you can make your resources available
to a broad range of outsiders without worrying too much.

With that comes security domains and code/data labelling, so that when you
submit problems that read "secret" data, those computations will not migrate
to "untrusted" sites  -  and problems originating from "strangers" will be
given priority below your "local" jobs.

When running on large clusters (or, the grid) you also want transparent error
recovery (where possible).  A single point of failure is not acceptable for
100.000+ nodes.  It seems that autonomous systems will save us from the single
points of both failure and contention.

Naturally, when running jobs over a network, things like speculative execution
and speculative data movement are interesting too - but the system must decide
when to do this, not the user.  For, as with parallelization, the user does not
know at code-time what may happen at run-time.

I will have a report (well, my thesis actually) and a partial implementation
ready in about a month.

-- 
................................................................
:   jakob at unthought.net   : And I see the elder races,         :
:.........................: putrid forms of man                :
:   Jakob Østergaard      : See him rise and claim the earth,  :
:        OZ9ABN           : his downfall is at hand.           :
:.........................:............{Konkhra}...............:

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