Beowulf Questions

Erik Paulson epaulson at cs.wisc.edu
Mon Jan 6 10:21:16 EST 2003


On Mon, Jan 06, 2003 at 09:46:56AM -0500, Mark Hahn wrote:
> 
> > 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. 

Do you really think that's what your users want, though? And what happens when
they need more compute power than you can give them, and want to use a 128
node cluster instead of a 64 node cluster? They go to a different cluster and
learn everything again?

> AFAIKT, the grid
> approach would have them running sandbox'ed, interpreted java programs on a
> generic proxy account.
> 

Nothing in grid computing says that it's any sort of generic account - all
authorization to use a resource is entirely up to the resource owner - if they
want every user on the resource to have an actual, seperate account they can.
If they want everyone to share a generic account they can. There's a seperate
mapping of "grid identities" to local unix accounts, for systems that it
makes sense on.

And who said anything about grid computing requireing interpreted Java 
programs? If you wanna run x86 code go ahead and do so, provided you've got
access to some x86 resources.

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

It's not cycle scavenging. 
It's a standard way of talking to queuing systems.
It's strong authentication and a seperate authorization step
Accounting is accomplished however it makes sense for the resource owners who
have put together that grid.

-Erik
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