More University Grid Computing (UM)

in General Discussion edited January 2014



The Campus Computing Sites are participating in U-M's MGRID Project by making available the computing power of the Apple G5 towers at the School of Education Building (SEB) Site when no one is logged in to them. The G5s are powerful computers that are the same model that Virginia Tech is using for its supercomputer, reported Andrew Mortensen, Macintosh developer and environment lead for the Sites.

MGRID (Michigan Grid Research and Infrastructure Development) is, according to the MGRID web site, "a collaborative effort of many parts of the University of Michigan focused on developing and deploying grid computing for the University of Michigan."

"We had powerful computers that weren't being used for anything else when the site was closed, so we got in touch with the MGRID people, got the details and the necessary software, and added the computers to the grid," said Mortensen. "The computers are configured to stop running as part of the grid when a user logs in, so the user won't have to compete for processing power while they're using the desktop. When they log out, the computer rejoins the grid." Added Mortensen, "We hope to add more computers to the grid over time, since the G5 collection at the SEB represents only a fraction of the total number of computers we manage. We're discussing the best way to increase our involvement with MGRID."

Looks like it's catching on in the Mac community. What kind of software is needed for something like this?


  • Reply 1 of 4
    I was just at U of M last weekend. They have both PC's and Macs on campus, but they have Indigo iMacs lined just about everywhere (library, food court, etc.).

    The fish bowl in Angell Hall is really a sight. G5's, Apple Pro Mice and keyboard, and 2 LCD Apple Displays on each...and about, oh, 50 or so of these computers. I just looked at it for a while.

    Sure does make me want to go there .
  • Reply 2 of 4
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    My department could use that power but were stuck on VMS.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Add North Carolina State University to that. It may not be "official" but it does look promising.


    PackMUG, the NCSU Macintosh Users Group, is looking for a student who is willing to take on coordinating the creation of the first community-supported grid computing architecture using Apple Xgrid technology. We are looking for someone with a technical background (must be a student) who is dependable, reliable, and enthusiastic about setting up and managing a supercomputing grid at NC State.

    This is not a paid position, but as a Supercomputing Grid Architect, you get to interact with professional staff in NCSU's ITD, and coordinate with Everette Allen, our PackMUG staff advisor and NCSU's Mac support manager. You must first work with Everette on establishing the feasibility of this grid (is this something we can and should do?). To help with this task, a small test grid has already been setup. Obviously, if the actual grid is setup successfully, you can add to your resume that you helped to create and manage an *insert teraflops here* supercomputing grid at NC State as a student. Sound impressive?

    Well, there is also all of the glamour and press that comes with managing a supercomputing grid. We want serious applicants only please. You need to make sure you can balance this with your academic life. We estimate you will need to put in at most 5 hours per week. Please let PackMUG's president, Arman Assa, know if you are interested by sending him an e-mail with your resume, or an e-mail with your academic, technical, and professional background (if any). Good luck!

    Ironic, considering that in December the College of Engineering was making an attempt at standardizing Wintel across the board, trying to pass a motion requiring students to purchase a Windows-based laptop and dropping all support for Mac and Linux users.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    Yipee!!! I am going to UoM next year! Hopefully I may be able to score a job at the Fish Bowl, looking at those computers all day long.... frothing.....
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