[GE users] Screencast/blog post on SGE 6.2u5 install on OS X

jlforrest jlforrest at berkeley.edu
Mon Feb 8 21:34:27 GMT 2010

On 2/8/2010 12:35 PM, cdwan wrote:

> I'm not from Apple, but having built a couple of Apple clusters, I'll go
> ahead with a small defense:

This is getting a little off topic, so I'll try to keep
the focus on SGE.

> If you're already able to build and administer a Linux server from
> scratch (i.e: You incur no cost from having to deal directly with the
> services at the level of configuration files), then of course you should
> evaluate machines on the basis of raw cost and performance.

The Rocks clustering software makes it almost trivial to
install a massive cluster without having to do most of
this work by hand. In particular, it installs and configures
SGE with absolutely no work by the cluster manager.

> Similarly, there are some advantages to a cluster of OS X machines -
> even the pseudo cluster you mention - for specific users and specific
> use cases. I'm not familiar with the process priority flaw that you
> mention.

In short, Mac OS allows low priority CPU bound processes
to preempt higher priority CPU bound processes. If you run
mostly CPU bound jobs via SGE, it means that interactive
users feel the presence of batch jobs. Neither Windows or Linux
do this.

As for the person who commented that they get better pricing
with Xserves from Apple than HP or Sun, I don't deny this can
happen. That's one reason we rarely buy HPC clusters from
HP or Sun. The so-called white box vendors can often supply
cluster nodes at an incredibly low cost. I have both
Dell and white box clusters, and I haven't found any
appreciable difference, other than cost.

Again, when it comes to SGE, both Apple and Sun have a lot
of work to do.

Jon Forrest
Research Computing Support
College of Chemistry
173 Tan Hall
University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
jlforrest at berkeley.edu


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