How do I consolidate a bunch of systems to they "look" like one system to BOINC?

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Profile Tom M
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Message 2029080 - Posted: 25 Jan 2020, 1:00:52 UTC

I wonder if the tools are readily available to allow say something like a Beowulf cluster to process the tasks but from the "outside world" point of view it is a single client.

The Supercomputer Clusters are clearly showing a "unified" POV but have a lot of hardware and processing spread all over the place.

Can we do this with consumer hardware? Or consolidate a PI cluster so it looks like a single computer to BOINC?

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Message 2029139 - Posted: 25 Jan 2020, 9:00:55 UTC
Last modified: 25 Jan 2020, 9:07:00 UTC

You need to do a bit of reading - there are quite a few people who have built Beowulf clusters using RPi, and some are better documented than others.
Your idea should work, but be aware that BOINC may not be happy seeing so many cores....


I'm sure that there was someone running one in the past - do a search of these boards.
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Message 2029163 - Posted: 25 Jan 2020, 10:52:59 UTC - in response to Message 2029139.  

You need to do a bit of reading - there are quite a few people who have built Beowulf clusters using RPi, and some are better documented than others.
Your idea should work, but be aware that BOINC may not be happy seeing so many cores....


I'm sure that there was someone running one in the past - do a search of these boards.


Thank you.

I sounds interesting and I am curious. :)

I will post links as I run across them. This almost certainly is going to take a while to see if I can even get to a starting position.

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Message 2029541 - Posted: 27 Jan 2020, 18:42:26 UTC
Last modified: 27 Jan 2020, 18:45:13 UTC

One thing to consider when thinking about running SETI on a Beowulf cluster - it will appear to the servers as a single multi-core CPU, not a CPU plus a number of "GPU", thus will be restricted in the number of tasks it will get from the server.

Edit:
Just one other thing, the SETI applications are single threaded (or at least written to use one core per instance), so you will still be stuck with the multi-hour/task execution times :-(
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Message 2029543 - Posted: 27 Jan 2020, 18:56:49 UTC

There is an application called "BoincTasks" that allows you to view multiple computers in a single Boinc Manager like window.

It doesn't look like a single system to Boinc but it allows you to monitor them as if they were.

https://efmer.com/
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Message 2029548 - Posted: 27 Jan 2020, 19:39:47 UTC
Last modified: 27 Jan 2020, 20:08:24 UTC

Efmer's Boinc Tasks is nothing like a Beowulf Cluster.
A Beowulf Cluster is a cluster of similar (or identical) "small" computers that act as one "large" one, whereas Boinc Tasks allows one to manage a lot of computers all acting independently of each other from a single computer.

Edit:
If one is only running SETI on a pile of RPi then something like BoincTasks is going to be better than a Beowulf cluster.
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Message 2029596 - Posted: 28 Jan 2020, 1:14:37 UTC

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Message 2029614 - Posted: 28 Jan 2020, 4:52:16 UTC

Modify boinc client to see more cpu cores than the host it is running in really has and write a 'proxy' setiathome application that runs the real setiathome application in a remote host.

Or I guess this might work even without modifying boinc client by making the app_info.xml claim the proxy app requires less than 1.0 cpus.
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Message 2029634 - Posted: 28 Jan 2020, 8:56:32 UTC

Neither will work - it is a hard, server-side limit, that restricts users to one-CPU-worth (150?) tasks even on mulit-CPU systems, and the CPU applications are written to use all of each available CPU core, not fractions or multiples thereof.
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Message 2029659 - Posted: 28 Jan 2020, 13:49:01 UTC

Basically, in order to make a "farm" more competitive on the Leaderboard, I was looking at some way to have them crunch under a single BOINC/Seti@Home id.

I acknowledge the specific limitations on the CPU tasks would make this problematic for high core counts.

There is at least one EPYC box here that has turned off his SMT because he couldn't use all 128 threads.

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Message 2029862 - Posted: 30 Jan 2020, 9:06:20 UTC

Before you get too carried away with a big pile of RPi do a quick sum to work out how many you would need. A single RPi has four cores, each core takes about 8 hours to do a single task, a fairly recent i7 core does a single task in what? (Let's say an hour) So we need 8 times as many RPi cores as i7 cores to do the same work per hour, which is two complete RPi to do the work of one i7 core, so that is 16 RPi would give roughly the same output as an i7 on its own.
I'm not sure how far up the tree that is, but I do know it's a long way from being top 100 :-(
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Message 2029864 - Posted: 30 Jan 2020, 9:59:01 UTC

With the growth of threads in the current CPUs it might be better off seeing if the developers are interested in programming a multithread (4?) CPU app.
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Message 2029870 - Posted: 30 Jan 2020, 12:01:21 UTC - in response to Message 2029862.  

Before you get too carried away with a big pile of RPi do a quick sum to work out how many you would need. A single RPi has four cores, each core takes about 8 hours to do a single task, a fairly recent i7 core does a single task in what? (Let's say an hour) So we need 8 times as many RPi cores as i7 cores to do the same work per hour, which is two complete RPi to do the work of one i7 core, so that is 16 RPi would give roughly the same output as an i7 on its own.
I'm not sure how far up the tree that is, but I do know it's a long way from being top 100 :-(



+1

Thank you for the analysis. It looks like some kind of Network of say Amd 2700x's would make more sense after than analysis. Back to the future :)

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Message 2029871 - Posted: 30 Jan 2020, 12:05:38 UTC - in response to Message 2029864.  

With the growth of threads in the current CPUs it might be better off seeing if the developers are interested in programming a multithread (4?) CPU app.


An interesting question. I know that on my Amd 3950x when I was running it with an AVX cpu task it was working harder and only a little faster.

It seems like we would need a consumer-level example of a 3-4 thread per core cpu before it would make sense to try developing something.

I suspect that a "gpu server" attack may make more sense.

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Message 2029885 - Posted: 30 Jan 2020, 15:41:01 UTC - in response to Message 2029871.  

The n-core approach has been discussed, but there are a few things that need to be considered. Not the least of which is the synchronization of the outputs from the cores. GPUs are designed with this in mind, but CPUs are not quite so good, and the gains in performance are not exactly linear in my experience (I frequently have to manipulate large 3d AutoCad models and the gain in performance using the same model when restricted to use two cores vs eight only affects the re-ceate time by a factor of two, not the expected factor of four.)
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Message 2030046 - Posted: 31 Jan 2020, 5:20:18 UTC - in response to Message 2029885.  

The n-core approach has been discussed, but there are a few things that need to be considered. Not the least of which is the synchronization of the outputs from the cores. GPUs are designed with this in mind, but CPUs are not quite so good, and the gains in performance are not exactly linear in my experience (I frequently have to manipulate large 3d AutoCad models and the gain in performance using the same model when restricted to use two cores vs eight only affects the re-ceate time by a factor of two, not the expected factor of four.)


This non-linear scaling is very true. Ask anyone over at PrimeGrid. Their LLR tasks are MT (multi-thread) capable and you don't cut single-core run time by the number of cores used to multi-thread.

It is some percentage that depends on the machine in question, the number of cores actually used, and the type of task as to the gain you achieve.
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Message 2030064 - Posted: 31 Jan 2020, 7:36:02 UTC - in response to Message 2029862.  

Before you get too carried away with a big pile of RPi do a quick sum to work out how many you would need. A single RPi has four cores, each core takes about 8 hours to do a single task
How much electrical power are modern RÏ€ consuming? It one completes 4 tasks in 8 hours, then you need about 80 RÏ€ to match the output of my single 130W GPU.
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Message 2030065 - Posted: 31 Jan 2020, 7:46:46 UTC - in response to Message 2029885.  

The n-core approach has been discussed
Performance gains from multithreading can never exceed linear and and they can match that only in very special cases. But when you run multiple independent tasks in parallel, you get linear gains by default if the core performance is the bottleneck instead of disk or memory bandwidth.

So there's no reason to even try to develop a multithreaded seti app because the best performance you could theoretically reach is no better than the performance of multiple singlethreaded apps running in parallel.
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Message 2030076 - Posted: 31 Jan 2020, 8:40:00 UTC - in response to Message 2030064.  

My RPi4 are drawing between 8 and10 watts from the wall, each has four cores.
Let's assume we have an 8-core processor, with all its support stuff in a PC drawing 130 watts from the wall.
Using the figure I gave earlier we would need 16 RPi4 to deliver the same throughput, so the power draw would be between 128 and 160 watts from the wall, somewhere between much the same and 25% more.

The reason I gave two figures is that some of my RPi4 are attached to a single PSU which is more efficient that the individual PSUs on the others, until I looked at the figures a few minutes ago I didn't realise just how much more!
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Message 2032330 - Posted: 14 Feb 2020, 3:08:10 UTC

So if I just go out and get an EYPC cpu/mb, a lot more gpus and an entire power system for the house I can "look" like one system :)
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Message boards : Number crunching : How do I consolidate a bunch of systems to they "look" like one system to BOINC?


 
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