Beowulf Questions

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Mon Jan 6 09:46:56 EST 2003


> > > Personally, I don't think so, especially if we consider the
> > > fact that in the not-too-distant future, networking speeds
> > > will be up to snuff with the various tasks at hand. With these
> > 
> > ah!  I think this is the central fallacy that drives grid enthusiasm.
> 
> Then you clearly don't understand grid computing.

OK, perhaps you're right.


> > there simply is no coming breakthrough that will make all networking
> > fast, low-latency, cheap, ubiquitous and low-power.  and grid
> > (in the grand sense) really does require *all* those properties.
> 
> Grid computing does not require any of this. Grid computing is all about
> access and coordination.

but access and coordination require some kind of work, and from where
I sit, most interesting distributed work requires the net as described
(and which does not exist.)


> Grid computing is much more than just
> running naturally (embarrassingly) parallel problems on spare cycles on 
> every computer people can find.

OK, so if it's more than loosely-coupled parallism, then it must 
inherently require a fairly tight network.  that was the point.


> Some companies will setup their own, internal distribution/grids - think of
> Walmart - and inside the company they'll deal with however the cost recovery
> method needs to work. Others will get it from the big boys - you'll want 

OK, this is the "Grid is a batch/queueing system with elaborate accounting"
explanation - exactly my understanding of grid ala Globus.

I don't really understand the appeal of this: on my clusters, I want users
to have actual user accounts, and to write, tune and compile their programs
for  the cluster's specific hardware, running them under the cluster's 
resource management (queueing/batch/accounting) software.  AFAIKT, the grid
approach would have them running sandbox'ed, interpreted java programs on a
generic proxy account.

OK, so grid is just cycle scavenging with its own meta-queueing,
its own meta-authentication and its own meta-accounting?

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