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From "Paul J. Reder" <rede...@raleigh.ibm.com>
Subject Re: Apache port to PVM(BeoWulf Clusters)?
Date Sat, 15 May 1999 01:30:16 GMT
Papageorio,

Having worked some with PVM in the past, I am curious how you see
Apache benefiting from a PVM "port"?

It is my understanding that PVM provides an underlying communications
API that allows for "seamless" distribution of manually architected
components. This provides a portable communications/distribution layer,
but does not address other portability issues such as memory, file I/O,
and mutex support.

There are many applications that benefit (or would benefit) from PVM.
Other than getting load balancing for free what benefits do you see for
Apache? Keep in mind that there is currently work being done to port
Apache to use a portable runtime API set that addresses all of the
portability issues, and that (as you pointed out) Apache can already
be clustered.

Those questions aside, I would certainly be curious about a port from
a purely theoretical standpoint and might even be interested in playing
with it some (but after my current thesis research is done). I am
personally very interested in the Beowulf architecture.

-------------------------------------------------
papageorgio wrote:

> This post concerns the desire of a small group to port Apache to
> PVM (Boewulf clustering API), and whether or not there is a need
> or want for such a port.
>
> First off I will outline this long and winding post.  This way if
> you are not to interested, you can skip to this or that then move
> on.
>
> I.    Who are we?
> II.   What is pvm?
> III.  What can be achieved by a port to pvm?
>  1.  Apache would be instantly ported new platforms.
>  2.  advanced load balancing.
>  3.  higher degree of clustering configuration options.
>  4.  PVM is an API not an OS.
> IV.  Things to consider that may not make it worth a port.
>  1.  Apache can already be clustered.
>  2.  Many of the new platforms do not have a big need for Apache.
>  3.  PVM offers no increase in speed.
>  4.  The level of complexity would increase.
> V.  What do you think?
>
> Note:  I have tried to make this as short as possible, so many things
> were left out (Like Detail), however if there is an interested in this
> then we can clarify, research and discuss it in detail.
>
> I.Who are we?
>
> We are a small group of developers and demented linux users with our own
> cluster (www.netttrash.com/users/thepile).
>
> II.  What is pvm?
>
> PVM is one of massage passing API's used to form Beowulf clusters.  It
> allows several heterogeneous computers to be networked together in order
> to use the sum of there hardware to create the allusion of a single a
> parallel processing computer.
>
> III. What can be achieved by a port to pvm?
>
> 1.  Apache would be instantly ported new platforms.
>
> PVM has been ported to all kinds of platforms and by porting
> Apache to PVM, Apache would be simultaneously ported to those
> platforms.  For information see www.epm.ornl.gov/pvm/pvmArch.html
>
> 2.  advanced load balancing.
>
> Porting Apache to PVM would give it advanced load balancing
> capabilities, PVM monitors and adjusts automatically tasks per
> machine.  Distribution can also be manually set, from the process
> level to the cluster overall.
>
> 3.  a higher degree of clustering configuration options.
>
> PVM has an infinite number of ways it can be clustered.  Since PVM
> sits ontop of the OS it is only limited by the OS's network
> capabilities.
>
> 4.  PVM is an API not an OS.
>
> PVM is not tied to an OS or a kernel.  So as OS's evolve most changes
> will effect PVM not Apache.
>
> IV.  Things to consider that may not make it worth a port.
>
> 1.  apache can already be clustered.
>
> 2.  Many of the PVM platforms do not have a big need for apache.
>
> granted a cluster of Cray2s running apache would be cool.
>
> 3.  PVM offers no increase in speed.
>
> PVM would not offer an increase in tasks completed per computer, but it
> would be comparible to a round robin cluster using software routing.
>
> 4.  The level of complexity would increase.
>
> Since the BeoWulf clusters design is only limited by your imagination,
> fine tuning would be just short of organizing cats into marching lines.
>
> V.What do you think?
>
> Is this a bad idea that would amount to nothing more than a waste of
> time?
> Is this a good idea that would amount to nothing more than a waste of
> time?
> It is interesting but more information is needed to comment.
> Yah this is good idea and it could be used.
>
> papageorgio

--
Paul J. Reder

--------- from Red Hat Linux fortunes -----------------------------
... Any resemblance between the above views and those of my employer,
my terminal, or the view out my window are purely coincidental.  Any
resemblance between the above and my own views is non-deterministic.  The
question of the existence of views in the absence of anyone to hold them
is left as an exercise for the reader.  The question of the existence of
the reader is left as an exercise for the second god coefficient.  (A
discussion of non-orthogonal, non-integral polytheism is beyond the scope
of this article.)



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