Results (Dec 29 2010)


log in

Advanced search

Message boards : Technical News : Results (Dec 29 2010)

1 · 2 · Next
Author Message
Profile Matt Lebofsky
Volunteer moderator
Project administrator
Project developer
Project scientist
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 1 Mar 99
Posts: 1389
Credit: 74,079
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1061045 - Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 21:18:22 UTC
Last modified: 29 Dec 2010, 21:19:15 UTC

Last post of the year!

I understand the SETI@home/BOINC back-end is a bit confusing. I think there are only a handful of people who understand all the relationships between every step of the BOINC finite state machine, the SETI@home data pipeline, and every server in our closet. I can only really scratch the surface of these details during these relatively pithy missives.

So let me try my best to quickly answer the general question: "did those two brand new servers (oscar and carolyn) help?"

First of all, there are about 100 known problems with our systems at any given time. Most of these are low priority and "time out" on their own. There are still a bunch of high priority issues, of which these new servers addressed *some*.

One easy problem to fix was replacing mork (the randomly crashing master mysql database server) with carolyn. This has been great... and I think we just (as of this morning) solved the current batch of disk i/o problems (by properly tweaking the write cache settings). Carolyn also has a lot more disks and memory than mork had, so there's still a lot of room to grow as needed.

The other new server, oscar, is taking care of two major problems. First, the science database on thumper was abysmally slow - so now this is on oscar. That's great, however it's not running as fast as we'd like. We still haven't fully benchmarked this, though. Maybe at worst we'll need to add more disks to the system - we shall see. The second major problem oscar is helping to resolve is ptolemy - our internal administrative file server - which, like mork, also randomly crashes from time to time locking everything up. Now that thumper is off the hook as a science database server, it can take over and easily handle ptolemy's current functionality, and then we can retire ptolemy. There's actually a third minor problem that's also getting fixed: thumper's root partition is on a messed-up software RAID device which kinda works but has been scaring us for way too long. It'll be great to have this server-shuffle opportunity to have a quiet moment to reinstall the OS on thumper and fix that RAID.

But that's pretty much it for now. Other major problems exist with no clear solutions. In fact, many of them are data driven, or network infrastucture driven, and therefore out of our sysadmin hands - no server upgrades will solve them.

That said, I hardly want to sound hopeless (and definitely not ungrateful). We're pros at working through our various struggles, and gaining oscar and carolyn has been the largest improvement in years, with still more benefits to come as we get rolling full bore in the new year and more aggressively shake out the remaining configuration problems. Plus a third new donated server (synergy) is coming down the pike, which we'll use to address other current shortcomings. When oscar, carolyn, and synergy are all being used to their fullest potential (a month or two from now?) let's revisit what our biggest system needs are. It may very well be that these new machines did in fact shake out the bulk of our current issues, and we'll be in good shape for years to come.

Happy new year! May we have actually publishable results in 2011 - positive or negative I don't care - it's science either way. We certainly could stand to get something meaningful in the journals concerning all the data we've been reducing for 11 years.

- Matt
____________
-- BOINC/SETI@home network/web/science/development person
-- "Any idiot can have a good idea. What is hard is to do it." - Jeanne-Claude

Profile Jim_SProject donor
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 23 Feb 00
Posts: 4526
Credit: 18,825,462
RAC: 8,634
United States
Message 1061048 - Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 21:22:20 UTC

Thanks for taking the time Matt...Most of us realize how Hard You All work in the Labs and at Home.
____________

I Desire Peace and Justice, Jim Scott (Mod-Ret.)

Profile perryjay
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 20 Aug 02
Posts: 3377
Credit: 15,937,886
RAC: 12,017
United States
Message 1061056 - Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 21:37:20 UTC - in response to Message 1061045.

Thank you for the update Matt. May all of you there have a very Happy New Year!!
____________


PROUD MEMBER OF Team Starfire World BOINC

Profile ignorance is no excuse
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 4 Oct 00
Posts: 9529
Credit: 44,433,321
RAC: 0
Korea, North
Message 1061060 - Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 21:39:47 UTC - in response to Message 1061048.

Sounds like S@h is doing pretty well on its firm diet of shoe strings. Congrats one and all for all your work
____________
In a rich man's house there is no place to spit but his face.
Diogenes Of Sinope

End terrorism by building a school

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12734
Credit: 7,268,719
RAC: 17,609
United States
Message 1061066 - Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 21:53:28 UTC

Thanks for the words. Go Home! Have a happy and prosperous new year.
____________

Profile Geek@PlayProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 31 Jul 01
Posts: 2467
Credit: 86,143,646
RAC: 1,043
United States
Message 1061092 - Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 22:20:39 UTC

Thanks for the info Matt. Your taking the time to post these short notes is commendable indeed. These notes are what keep a lot of crunchers here at Seti, believe it or not.

Happy New Year to all the crew at Seti/Boinc. Hope next year we get published also. It would be nice after all these years to see some results in print.

____________
Boinc....Boinc....Boinc....Boinc....

Profile Chris SProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 32092
Credit: 13,777,066
RAC: 25,234
United Kingdom
Message 1061102 - Posted: 29 Dec 2010, 22:28:51 UTC

When oscar, carolyn, and synergy are all being used to their fullest potential (a month or two from now?) let's revisit what our biggest system needs are. It may very well be that these new machines did in fact shake out the bulk of our current issues, and we'll be in good shape for years to come.


That is good enough for me Matt. Thanks for telling it like it is, without any waffle, that is what we need to hear. Get yourselves sorted, then let us know what is needed next, and we will see what we can do about it.

Happy new year to you :-)

____________
Damsel Rescuer, Uli Devotee, Julie Supporter, ES99 Admirer,
Raccoon Friend, Anniet fan, didn't take pot advice!


ront
Send message
Joined: 25 Aug 01
Posts: 77
Credit: 386,336
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1061138 - Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 0:23:27 UTC

Happy New Year to you and the rest of the Crew!

ront
____________

Profile Taxman59
Send message
Joined: 9 Feb 00
Posts: 13
Credit: 1,913,896
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1061146 - Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 0:39:07 UTC

With all of the good work you have done this year with less than "stellar" equipment, I hope that the project leaders have seen fit to give you a year end performance reward. I know that you are not in this for the $, but with what you have managed to do this year, there should be something for you. Maybe there is some kibble for you somewhere. If not, then you are building up one heck of a positive karma.

thanks for all you have done

Dick

Profile James Sotherden
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 16 May 99
Posts: 8918
Credit: 35,938,935
RAC: 43,662
United States
Message 1061157 - Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 1:16:35 UTC

Thanks for the update Matt. May you and the rest of the Crew have a happy new year.
____________

Old James

Profile Bill GProject donor
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 1 Jun 01
Posts: 348
Credit: 43,096,648
RAC: 47,576
United States
Message 1061180 - Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 3:04:56 UTC - in response to Message 1061157.

Thanks for posting. And have a Happy New Year....all of you.
____________

Ianab
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 11 Jun 08
Posts: 674
Credit: 12,633,985
RAC: 6,028
New Zealand
Message 1061185 - Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 3:10:41 UTC

Most of us understand that 10% of the machines in any system cause 90% of the problems. Fix or replace those, and 90% of your problems go away.

Sounds like that is what you've done. There will still be other issues and random gremlins, now and in the future, but it seems you have wiped out a lot the gremlins with the new servers.

Onwards and Upwards :-)

Ian

Profile MikeProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 17 Feb 01
Posts: 24537
Credit: 33,862,116
RAC: 23,477
Germany
Message 1061331 - Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 8:42:53 UTC


Happy new year Matt and the rest of the crew.

Thanks for the hard work.
Its much apreciated.

____________

-BeNt-
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 17 Oct 99
Posts: 1234
Credit: 10,116,112
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1061506 - Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 16:52:38 UTC

Just to repeat everyone else, thanks for the post Matt. It's nice knowing what's up behind the scenes when possible. It's a lot of hard pain in the butt work at time and most of us know it, but rarely recognize it. Typical IT department stuff I suppose, always gets taken for granted! Either way nice job fellas, have an enjoyable new years and come in fresh for the 2011 year! It's going to be a hell of a ride.
____________
Traveling through space at ~67,000mph!

B-Man
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 11 Feb 01
Posts: 253
Credit: 147,366
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1061552 - Posted: 30 Dec 2010, 18:35:14 UTC

Thanks for the update on the servers. I always like more insight into how the project is run.
Have a wonderful new years and see you next year.
____________

xx
Volunteer tester
Send message
Joined: 23 May 99
Posts: 166
Credit: 3,450,910
RAC: 0
United States
Message 1061796 - Posted: 31 Dec 2010, 4:55:58 UTC

Thank you for the update, Matt. Happy New Year.
____________

Profile IgogoProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 18 Dec 04
Posts: 100
Credit: 38,788,660
RAC: 31,766
Ukraine
Message 1061845 - Posted: 31 Dec 2010, 9:15:59 UTC - in response to Message 1061796.

Happy New Year!!!!!
SETI forever. I want to belive..

Profile Fred J. Verster
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 21 Apr 04
Posts: 3252
Credit: 31,895,140
RAC: 3,987
Netherlands
Message 1061850 - Posted: 31 Dec 2010, 9:44:49 UTC - in response to Message 1061845.

Thanks Matt, for the clear explanation of the situation in the lab and
ofcoarse a Happy new 2011...


____________

Profile Shilo Haapala
Send message
Joined: 8 Dec 07
Posts: 1
Credit: 213,232
RAC: 284
Canada
Message 1062362 - Posted: 1 Jan 2011, 13:17:30 UTC

Good stuff! Keep up the excellent work and Happy New Year to all.
____________

1 · 2 · Next

Message boards : Technical News : Results (Dec 29 2010)

Copyright © 2014 University of California