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Thread: Clustering Windows XP

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Clustering Windows XP

    I am looking for a way to cluster a group of Windows XP machines. Is there a cheap/easy way to do this? They are running Windows XP Pro, they are identical Dell machines, and I have Admin access. There are close to 30 machines. I am just learning about this supercomputing deal. I followed Neutron's ClusterKnoppix tutorial, but found myself stuck as the Knoppix Boot hangs while trying to find the CD in \dev\scd0. I think I need to burn the CD at about 4x.

    Anyways, any help with Windows XP Clustering would be appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Just Another Geek
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    XP is a workstation so a "real" cluster isn't possible, you'll need W2k server for that.
    You can cluster an application if that application is build for it. But this requires a specific application that's able to decide which machine does what.
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  3. #3
    AO French Antique News Whore
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Their no application that run on XP that can connect a Linux Cluster?
    -Simon \"SDK\"

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    "Clustering" is mainly used in the context of load balancing, fault tolerance and
    parallel processing. I think, you are talking about using these computers in the context
    of "parallel processing", which is defined as the simultaneous use of more than one
    CPU for one executable. Hence, SirDice is completely right with his statement. I
    want to elaborate it, trying to answer SDK's question (if I understood it correctly).

    If you want to use several machines (XP, 200x, Linux, ...: eg Beowulf Cluster) for
    parallel processing you need
    a) to write or to have written software that supports parallelisation (using some standard[1])
    b) an interface, which can take care of the communication between the nodes (see also [1]).
    By installing for example MPI[CH][2] on each of your machines, you are able to send
    messages from node to node - messages, which may contain results of the
    "threads" and/or are needed for the parallelisation method involved.
    If you develop your own code, you have to
    (i) be able to parallelise your code
    (ii) use MPI[CH][2] for the communication (quite simple c-functions), watch for deadlocks
    (iii) compile your code with mpicc (instead of gcc)
    (iv) run your code with mpirun.

    Sideremark: There is a branch in the development of gcc 4.0 which includes the support
    of OpenMP, allowing you to parallelise by setting pragmas. If you wait another 2 years or
    so, parallelised code can be much easier generated.


    [1] http://www-unix.mcs.anl.gov/mpi/mpich2/
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    (Abraham Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-70)

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