Volpex Testbeds News

Most desktop computers are virtually idle most of the time. They represent an immense pool of unused computation, communication, and data storage capacity. Available compute power is expanding rapidly with the advent of multi-core systems. But these nodes are "volatile" as their owners can make them unavailable suddenly and without notice. The goal of Volpex is to address the challenge of parallel computing on such volatile nodes. Here are some specific directions:

Volpex MPI
This project is developing an implementation of MPI customized for robust execution on volatile nodes. Message passing exchanges are converted to Put/Get operations executed asynchronously. VolPEx design is based on execution of 2 or more replicas of each MPI process - the application progresses at the rate of the fastest replicas and continues seamlessly on failure, as long as at least one replica for each process is alive.

Volpex Dataspace
Current systems for execution on volatile nodes such as, BOINC and Condor primarily support execution of independent tasks on nodes. The central goal of Volpex Dataspace is to enable execution of communicating parallel programs on volatile ordinary desktops. We need a robust communication layer that facilitates data exchanges between tasks. Key features:
  • Abstract dataspace that acts as (intermediary) for data exchange between tasks
  • Asynchronous exchange of data objects
  • Well suited to redundant computation of tasks to handle volatile nature
Volpex Simulation
The objective of this work is to simulate the performance of parallel applications on desktop grids by creating a virtual model of the real world network, which has all of the characteristics of a real world network plugged in, and to obtain the simulation results for different parallel applications for different combination of network parameters on different varieties of network configurations. More information about Volpex Simulation can be found here.

Virtual Campus Supercomputing Center (VCSC)
UH VCSC provides researchers with the computational power of a very large cluster. A VCSC is a BOINC [Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing which is an open-source software platform for computing using volunteered resources] project whose applications are supplied by campus researchers. The computing power is supplied by campus PCs - computing lab machines, desktop and laptops belonging to faculty, staff, and students, and home PCs belonging to alumni.Volunteers who would like to donate computing power of their machine for VCSC can find the instructions to join here.

This work is supported by:NSF