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Old 04-10-2007, 10:04 PM   #16
SlowCoder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket357
edit - also, you have to consider the load distributed computing will put on the network...do you dump the cash you saved into a secondary network solely for distributed computing? or do you just take the performance hit and stick to one network?
It's been a very long time since I even investigated the concept of distibuted computing. At that time, I believe what was stated was that with current hardware (5 years ago?), distributed computing in this form was not very economical, speedwise. This was because the fastest, feasably priced, NICs were 100mb at fastest, not fast enough to make up for the time it took to transfer for dc. Now, with 1Gb and faster NICs coming onboard, I'm thinking it could be a bit more feasable.

I think it would be very cool to see a series of 5 systems, working in dc mode, to pump out your data in a speed that no single processor could.
 
Old 04-10-2007, 10:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowCoder
Now, with 1Gb and faster NICs coming onboard, I'm thinking it could be a bit more feasable.
Cool, indeed...but economical? Well, I guess the original poster stated that the machines are being built from the ground up, and while you're at it, it couldn't hurt to toss in a gigabit switch...

Good point, SlowCoder...I don't think 5 machines would create enough traffic to harm a gigabit network (my university has a 160 node dual-core/dual processor Linux cluster they use for cancer research and the like...and I *believe* it's running fine on gigabit for the main and 10 gigabit for the backbone...10/100, of course, for the maintenance network).

Hadn't considered that, SlowCoder, thanks for pointing it out.
 
Old 04-11-2007, 08:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket357
Cool, indeed...but economical? Well, I guess the original poster stated that the machines are being built from the ground up, and while you're at it, it couldn't hurt to toss in a gigabit switch...

Good point, SlowCoder...I don't think 5 machines would create enough traffic to harm a gigabit network (my university has a 160 node dual-core/dual processor Linux cluster they use for cancer research and the like...and I *believe* it's running fine on gigabit for the main and 10 gigabit for the backbone...10/100, of course, for the maintenance network).

Hadn't considered that, SlowCoder, thanks for pointing it out.
Wow! You mean I got something right? Woohoo!
 
Old 04-11-2007, 10:29 AM   #19
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Anyway...what's the big deal with distributed computing for this setting? The only computing task likely to even come close to taxing the local processor is watching hi-definition videos. Distributed computing is going to offer no perceived performance benefit.

If I were doing it, I'd set up a single server, four diskless workstations, and one Windows XP workstation. It may require more effort to set up than traditional workstations, but it saves a lot of money and the maintenance effort is severely reduced. With diskless workstations all built on the same hardware, it's even possible to have all of the workstations running off the same OS partition. That way, software only needs to be installed or updated once, and all computers always have the same software.
 
Old 04-11-2007, 11:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaacKuo
Anyway...what's the big deal with distributed computing for this setting? The only computing task likely to even come close to taxing the local processor is watching hi-definition videos. Distributed computing is going to offer no perceived performance benefit.
Try encoding high-definition video with AVC. You'll need all the computing power available. How do you know what other people are doing with their computers?
 
Old 04-11-2007, 12:17 PM   #21
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I don't KNOW, but it's terribly unlikely that someone in this family is going to be encoding hi-def videos.

Even then, is distributed computing actually desirable? IMHO, no, it isn't. Sure, the one user encoding the videos gets to have it encoded in less time--but in the meantime everyone's computer is sluggish.

From a usability perspective, it is much better for the encoding job to only occupy one computer. Even if it takes five times longer, it has less impact on the user experience. If there's a computer not being used, the encoding job can be run remotely on that computer. That leaves the local workstation completely free to run other programs at full speed.

Oh sure--if you train everyone on how to set priorities on jobs it's possible to reduce the impact on the user experience...but it'll still be there.
 
Old 04-11-2007, 12:27 PM   #22
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I install Gentoo computers here, running distcc transparently on desktops on my network. Users even do not know something is using spare cycles of their CPU's. And certainly they do not have to adjust anything and there is no "impact on user experience". Linux really isn't that primitive.
 
Old 04-11-2007, 02:08 PM   #23
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Distcc is a specialized application designed from the ground up as a distributed application to "play nice". Naturally, you don't have to set the priority low--it's priority is low by default.

You can't generalize that to using a cluster for general purpose distributed computing, like with OpenMosix.
 
Old 04-11-2007, 02:23 PM   #24
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So even when kernel is optimized for desktop use and I as admin adjust it remotely to greater niceness it still reduces computer responsiveness? Too bad. Thanks for information.
 
Old 04-11-2007, 08:21 PM   #25
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thekclyon,

So, I think I successfully stole your thread from you. Sorry about that. But, maybe it gave you a little taste of the possibilities of Linux. In your position, I think it would be very interesting to build a distributed computing network. Good luck with your setup.
 
  


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