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Renting processing time on supercomputer grid???

Renting processing time on supercomputer grid???

Renting processing time on supercomputer grid???

Due to the run time required for some of my mechanical event simulation FEA models, I have been looking into renting CPU time on an external computer cluster Grid.  I wanted to see if anyone has any success in doing something like this and get some advice and thoughts on doing this.  So far I have looked into the following companies offering these services, showing some of the details of their service:

1.  IBM "Blue Gene" Computer- I believe this supercomputer runs on Linux so should be able to run Algor.  They charge on CPU/hour time rate but require a yearly time purchase of $5000 which I believe is about 5000 CPU-hrs.
2. Helwett Packard Grid Computer Utility-  I am currently waiting response on the cost and logistics of this system.  From what Algor tells me this system runs both AMD and Intel processors and Linux so it will work for Algor.  I am awaiting the costs and potential sign up and use issues for this one.  I beleive Algor has to help to set up the account with HP as the software must be uploaded to them so there are probably license security issues.
3. Sun Microsystems-  Their computer grid seemed like the easy choice.  Easy sign up and navigation on their website and straight up $1/CPU-hour charges, no minumum time requirement.  Looked very user freindly but the glitch is that the computer runs the Sun Solaris platform which according to Algor won't run their program.  Maybe Sun will change that and make it more accomodating down the line.

In any event I'd like to know others users thoughts and findings on this.  I am basically getting to the point where if a rented grid won't work I am gonna bite the bullet and setup a cluster of computers in the guestroom...haha.


RE: Renting processing time on supercomputer grid???

I have not had much experance renting CPU time but it does work. To put it simply SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence) uses the same process. Rather than renting cpu time people like me donate my idle cpu time to them using software plugins for my browser. It is the same.

Depending on the cpu time I needed I would programme a java applet to do the same and ask people to donate there idle time. If you need help send me a message.

Computer Doctor BFG

RE: Renting processing time on supercomputer grid???


I had considered something like that but was somewhat concerned about whether linked computers could send viruses that way. Also I was wondering if the connection speed would drastically reduce the computing time.  I also need to look into issues with the program software as to doing this. Often the software is node lock licensed and that becomes a pain or has particular setup issues in deignating what CPU's run what portion of the analysis.  Seems like this area of computing is still in its tricky and expensive stage.

RE: Renting processing time on supercomputer grid???


You might want to consider (I don't know how big the algor
package is), a recompilation of the source code into the
Solaris operating system.  I believe that the o/s changes
and shema are very close, if not identical between Solaris
and Linux.  There might be some scripting changes required
for launching.

Since it might be just a "porting" issue, you might want
to see what the free solaris for Intel processors and
what the app wants to complain about.  If the task is not
to daunting, then you could modify the app on the single
solaris system, then launch on the Sun grid without having
to rent to just handle porting issues.

You can also ask them about their statement:
"Future releases will support 64-bit UNIX workstations
from Hewlett-Packard Company, Sun Microsystems, Inc. and
IBM Corporation."

Which I found on the link:

Who knows, it might be in development right now, and the
Solaris port is almost a done deal.  Then your choice of
grid platforms is a no brainer.

Just a word of warning.  The performance of a grid system
will vary quite a bit just on how the app is written.  You
may or may not be able to achieve a significant performance
increase with a massively parallel system structure.

If you do indeed want to go with the parallel system linux
running in your guest room, do a search on "beowulf"

Get the fastest LAN link you can possibly afford for this.
1000BaseT, or Gigabit.

Hope this helps.


    Rich S.

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