[R] computational capacity of Linux network

Warnes, Gregory R gregory_r_warnes at groton.pfizer.com
Tue Sep 18 01:43:40 CEST 2001

Hi Vadim,

I have set up just such a system using MOSIX (http://www.mosix.org) and
ClusterNFS (http://ClusterNFS.sourceforege.net). MOSIX automatically
shuffles processes around a network of Linux machines to maximize
performance & make use of memory.  I've successfully used R, C, and Java
programs in this environment and have been very happy. 

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I developed ClusterNFS to simplify the setup and maintenance of a group of
Linux machines by allowing all of the machines to share a common root
filesystem.  This is accomplished by providing 'interpreted file names' so
that configuration files can differ as necessary, while maintaining the
common file system.
</blatant advertisement>

I used them both with Debian, but they can be used with any distribution.  


-----Original Message-----
From: Vadim Ogranovich [mailto:vograno at arbitrade.com]
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2001 3:41 PM
Cc: R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
Subject: [R] computational capacity of Linux network

Hi, This is not an R question per ce, but I feel like this is a right
community to ask it.

As a part of our work we run a lot of non-interactive computational jobs. To
increase the throughput we would like to distribute the load over the entire
network and we are looking at Linux network as a platform. Ideally we would
like to be able to submit a job to the network, rather than to a computer,
and let the "network" to figure out the resource to run the job on.

I'd like to hear from those people who have had an experience of working in
such an environment. Specifically
* what system (Red Hat, etc.) was used? What kind of software was used for
load balancing? 
* How big is the USER overhead to set such a job comparatively to running a
command from shell? How reliable and convenient error reporting is if the
job fails?
* how much of sysadmin time is required to maintain such a network?
* any other comment.

Please reply directly to me and I'll post the summary.


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