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Is there a way to cluster a large group of XP machines?

By dysart ·
This falls under the "it would be cool if" category.

I work at a High School with several computer labs. I would like to be able to harness the unused abilities to allow our Science/Math teachers to run high powered simulations like weather simulations, ocean currents, even recreating the research which cracked the DNA code.

I've not approached our teachers with my idea, so I'm not even sure there are simulations they could use. I'm sort of taking a "If you build it they will come approach".

During the school hours, our labs are being used mostly for Internet browsing, Typing class, and Office type applications. Ideally, I would like to be able to install some sort of client, and assign it 10-20% of the processor or so, and then a controlling computer would be able to run the applications.

The labs are already set up, so their is no wiring cost, no facilities cost, no equipment cost. The only non-negotiator is that I cannot uninstall XP and install Linux.

We have a resource lab, which, could be "reserved" for the cluster if the idea of a client which runs in the back ground is not practicle

I've read about Large scale projects that we can donate "spare processor time to". I've even seen one where I can download a program which creates a cluster, and can be usee to get "retrieve" passwords. Is there a way I could set up an inhouse cluster, and have control over it.

Thank you for your interest. There might not yet be a way, but it would certainly be "cool if".

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not sure I understand

by alphatech9 In reply to Is there a way to cluster ...

what layer-2 devices are you running?

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We are using Extreame Summit X250e Switches

by dysart In reply to not sure I understand

I have a lab of computers that sit idle or are very underutilized. I would like to find someway to harness the unused abilities.

If I can set up some sort of cluster/grid (It seems these are almost interchangeable in terms of end results) then perhaps the science/math teachers can run some elaborate simulations and data modeling software in their classrooms.

I going to try some potential solutions in the next few days, ranging from Sun Grid Engine 6 to somethings I've come across on sourceforge.net. See what happens.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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MPI

by rahouseholder In reply to Is there a way to cluster ...

You can use MPI (message passing interface) for the clustering. There is a version available from HP. As far as cost, I don't have any idea. You will also have to consider the cost of the modeling software.

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Thank you all for your responses.

by dysart In reply to Is there a way to cluster ...

I've come to the conclusion that while I have been able to create clusters, I cannot do with them what I had intended.

Oh well. Maybe in the future someone will create something like Pooch (for Mac) that will work for Windows.

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