[nycbug-talk] Parallel Virtual Machine

Pete Wright pete at nomadlogic.org
Wed Apr 12 11:23:33 EDT 2006

On Tue, Apr 11, 2006 at 11:17:05PM -0400, George Georgalis wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 11, 2006 at 08:57:59AM -0700, Peter Wright wrote:
> >
> >> Hey All,
> >>
> >> A colleague of mine just found something called PVM, which looks like
> >> a really interesting problem-solver (cheap and easy distributed CPU
> >> use?):
> >
> >yea i remember checking it out a while back.  it seemed pretty good if you
> >are writing a custom application.  if i remember correctly PVM provides C
> >lib's that allow you to pass messages via network sockets to your cluster
> >for computation.  unfortunatly, i was never in a situation where i could
> >use it.
> I think it was shipped in the redhat desktop since 6.0 or 6.1.
> But I've never seen it running. Think pov-ray mentioned it before,
> but now there's http://www.instant-grid.org/ or Sun Grid Engine 
> and others...

heh...RH ships the pvm libs?  i didn't realize that, must have missed it
inbetween the kitchen sink and bathtub they also supply :)  I think
this architecture is different than a "grid" or what ever market-speak
is being used today.  from what i've gathered, grid's are mainly batch
processing systems that do some tricks to spread the load amoung a farm
of cpu's.  a PVM seemed closer to a large shared memory cluster.  it may
seem like a trivial difference but from a programming and application
perspective it's pretty huge.  from what I understand, a grid/batch
system will take a discreet chunk of code - process it - then send the
result back to the master.  a shared memory cluster is able to take one
set of instructions and have the computation spread along multiple
machines at the same time.


Peter Wright
pete at nomadlogic.org

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