Connecting multiple computers to act like a SMP system?

Archer75

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 10, 2001
Messages
6,449
Can you hook two computers together to act like a dual processor system? I know you can do with various unix servers to spread the processing load across many. Such as in render farms and other processor intensive tasks.

I was wondering if it was possible to do it with windows to improve overall system performance, video and photo editing, CD/DVD burning, gaming, etc. I've got 5 computers here and really only use 2 of them. Was hoping to put the others to good use.

Probably not possible, but just curious.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2000
Messages
693
Looking at something like a cluster with load-balancing (processing) between all the nodes... That's perfectly possible! :) Nearly all of such setups I've seen use Linux of one flavor or another. (Check out Beowulf.org).

If you're only looking at Windows-based rigs, you're probably out of luck. AFAIK, MS only give network load-balancing across domain servers. :rolleyes:
 

Snugglebear

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
11,436
There are a few application-level distributors for Windows where a certain app can distribute work on its own to more copies of itself, but no general purpose ones that I'm aware of. Besides, there's nothing that will really speed up what you're trying to do; gaming doesn't work well in parallel environments, much less loosely coupled distributed environments, burning opticals isn't very intensive, photo/video editing, aside from encoding or rendering, also isn't significant enough to warrant distribution.
 

spectrumbx

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Messages
1,647
It all depends on the application you plan on running on those computers. Distributed computing is not something at the OS level. So, whether you use linux or windows, you will be faced with the same issue of providing a third party software that will allow you to do what you want to do.

How easy you can implement it depends on what you want to do. There is decent support for web server and network management load balancing and distributed 3D rendering.

Either all servers do the same thing to satisfy the requests of many users, or they take care of a small part of the operation (if your task can be broken down into small parts).

So, no you cannot do it in general except for specific applications (operations).
 

Arkaine23

Gawd
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
575
An easy way to play with clustering is to use bootable Live Linux CD's like clusterknoppix. These have a mosix kernel and become a mosix style cluster. Hit up google to learn more.

They require no installation and won't mess with your currently installed OS or files unless you want them to.
 

gaviota

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Messages
92
I've never seen that for video and photo editing, CD/DVD burning, gaming, etc.

But if you want to run a database application in many PCs acting as a single big computer you can do that in Oracle 10g - grid computing is the term used by Oracle Corp. for this.
 

untitled

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Messages
69
Arkaine23 said:
An easy way to play with clustering is to use bootable Live Linux CD's like clusterknoppix. These have a mosix kernel and become a mosix style cluster. Hit up google to learn more.

They require no installation and won't mess with your currently installed OS or files unless you want them to.

having tries this, i'v so far found that while the live cd's are great - i'v not had any luck in getting clustering 'out of the box'

tbh, i'm guessing that it does actually require a 'proper' install to get the benefits of clustering.

although, as i say, i'm only guessing, and ymmv.
 

jpmkm

That Ain't Mayo On My Lip...
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
5,773
Pretty much the only clustering-type setup for windows is a load-balancing type cluster. There really isn't anything that fits what you want to do. However I do think there are some video rendering programs that will kinda make a cluster by itself if you run it on multiple computers. I cannot remember what that program is or exactly how it works, though. If you wanted to go the linux route, then check into openmosix clusters. Openmosix clusters are much more general-purpose than beowulf clusters. With beowulf clusters, you typically need to use programs written specifically to run on a beowulf cluster. With an openmosix cluster, the clustering software will distribute threads among the computers; the programs do not need to be aware of the cluster. A cluster really woudn't do anything for those tasks you mentioned. It is fun just to mess around with it and learn more, though. Might as well put those computers to work.
 

ModOut

Weaksauce
Joined
May 5, 2002
Messages
69
never you mind the naysayers
it is perfectly possible in windows just as it is under linux unix or any good os
you just cant use xp or your typical desktop version
use the .net or the win 2000AS or 2003AS or the like
pm for further info
 

jpmkm

That Ain't Mayo On My Lip...
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
5,773
Could you post further info about the windows clustering to this thread? Just maybe a brief overview of what all you can do with it and what is involved in setting it up. This is a forum for public discussion and that is exactly what this thread is about. I'm sure I'm not the only one curious about it.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2000
Messages
693
Likewise, here! I've a bunch of rigs that I hope I can use more efficiently and distribute the workload better... :)
 
Top