Supercomputing on the cheap.

Supercomputing on the cheap.

Postby Phauss » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:33 pm

Beowulf clustering: Taking a bunch of computers on a local network and getting them to parallel compute things and act as a single computer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beowulf_cluster

Grid computing: Using computers geographically seperated and connected by the ethernet to parallel compute data.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_computing

I would like to try one of these sometime.
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Re: Supercomputing on the cheap.

Postby Forb » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:09 pm

What is this good for? What are you able to do with this?
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Re: Supercomputing on the cheap.

Postby Clow » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:55 pm

There are plenty of ways to utilize supercomputers (or, to the subject of this thread, computers networked together and sharing processing power to make a supercomputer across a network). A lot of people trying to do powerful calculations but who aren't backed by a college or company usually need to do things like this. There are people that ask random people to lend them their computing power all of the time. You give them the okay, download a program they develop, and lend them your processor power. Hell, I'd bet even some small companies do this. Might even pay you a bit.

Like, let's say you're trying to emulate the known universe. Literally the known universe. You know what? Even a small pocket of it. The small individual masses and especially the effect of gravity on them would take immense processing mojo to perform. Without access to your own supercomputer this is a practical and possible way to get it done.
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Re: Supercomputing on the cheap.

Postby Forb » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:51 pm

What ways might this be useful to an individual or small group that doesn't have scientific desires for the processing power?
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Re: Supercomputing on the cheap.

Postby Clow » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:01 am

iunno. It's just neat.
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Re: Supercomputing on the cheap.

Postby Phauss » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:10 pm

SETI comes to mind. They utilize grid computing and volunteers allocate processor time while their computer sits idle. A home PC will process a little chunk of data and send it back to the mainframe where it all gets put together. It's not something I'll ever need to do, but it would be cool.

I'm more interested in Beowulf clustering because of the 3D renders I used to make. Man, those took forever. I once had to wait 4 hours for a 10 second 320x240 video to render. It would be much faster with many slow (read: cheap) computers working together in parallel.

Server wise, it would be nice to be able to run that holy-shit minecraft server we had before, but as far as I know, minecraft doesn't recognize multiple CPU's, at least at the time of the threads I was reading. People are interested in running a Beowulf cluster for minecraft and it has been done, but there was some reprogramming of the java runtime environment to get it to work. I choose not to go down the java rabbit hole.
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