[Beowulf] SGI to offer Windows on clusters

laytonjb at charter.net laytonjb at charter.net
Thu Apr 12 14:34:53 PDT 2007


I absolutely agree with you! I've been thinking about this for a long time but
I don't have any answers for you :)  I think there are a number of people
thinking about this same problem. My best suggestion is to use the web to
launch and monitor jobs. Everyone know how to use a browser, so just going
to a URL, logging in, and filling out a simple form to run a job would be great.

I know that Platform (LSF), Altair (PBS), and Cluster Resources (MOAB) have
solutions that do this. I started to look at them at my previous job. Not too
bad in general. I also know that Joe Landman at Scalable Informatics also
has a web interface (SWICE?) that he offers his customers.

I also recently got an email about some kind of interface for CFD codes that
allows you to easily submit jobs to various schedulers and watch the progress
of the run (you could even do a simple plot if you wanted). I can't remember the
name of it and it's on my home box right now.

I think an API, whatever it looked like, that could submit jobs to various schedulers,
was simple to use, simple to add other applications would work well. 

I really think the web interface is the way to go. This way you can submit jobs from
any machine that has a browser (Linux, Windows, Mac, etc.). 


> Here is a proactive suggestion for keeping open source
> ahead of Microsoft CCS:
> 1. I think CCS will appeal to small shops with no prior cluster
>     and no admin capability beyond a part time windows person.
> 2. such customers are the volume seats for a range of desktop
>     CAD/CAE tools.
> 3. Such ISVs will see potential of license growth, and will
>     likely choose to tie-in to the Microsoft message of ease-of-use.
>     A big feature here, in my view, is the one-button-job-launch.
> This means, for Linux to have a position as the backend
> compute cluster, we must have this one button job launch
> capability.  A Windows library must be available to
> the ISV, to provide a job submission API  to the batch
> scheduler.  With such a feature, the ISVs can be
> persued to incoporate.
> Ideally the job submission API is a kind of standard, so
> the ISV does not see duplicate work versus the batch scheduler
> used.
> So,
> a) we need a job submission API, and
> b) we need the Windows library added to Linux batch schedulers.
>     (I'm not saying the scheduler runs on Windows, we just need
>     the submission/retrieve portion).
> Does such exist already?
> Thanks, Rich
> Rich Altmaier, SGI
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