View Full Version : Ad hoc clusters and Xgrid

01-17-2004, 01:56 PM
This is of huge interest to me...and should be to Newtek, as well.

Xgrid is a new technology for running parallel computations on an ad-hoc cluster of Macs. Maybe you've heard about how Virginia Tech created a supercomputer out of about 1000 Apple G5 computers, which is now the third fastest and the cheapest in the world.

Under the render tab I see that LW has built in support for multithreading on up to 8 processors. I bet I could get my company to buy three G5 cluster nodes (dual processors on each) and see how this speeds up Monte Carlo radiosity, for example (Xgrid is supposed to be particularly good at Monte Carlo simulations), or workflow/productivity in general.

Is anyone running one of these "not-so-super computers"? Anyone using clustered processors at all?

Xgrid is looking for software companies who want optimization for their products built into the software. It is not a commercial product yet... but it sounds tailor made for Lightwave.

Here's a quote from their info thread:

"Xgrid is primarily focused on scientific computation, which is a completely different problem than database clustering, application clustering, or the clustering of server services. On the other hand, scientific computation does bear some similarities to the clustering needed for video compression or 3D rendering. However, those applications would need to be modified to use Xgrid, and Xgrid itself is not optimized to support those kinds of uses. We look forward to talking with those developers about whether they think Xgrid could help them achieve their clustering goals at some point in the future, but all such usage is purely hypothetical at this stage, and may not be feasible in practice. If you know of a product which you think could benefit from clustering capabilities, please let them know and ask them to contact us."

Here is the guy in charge of that stuff at Apple:

Ernest N. Prabhakar, Ph.D.
Product Manager, UNIX & Open Source
Mac OS X Product Marketing
(408) 974-3075 <[email protected]>

Again, if anyone out there is currently running an ad-hoc cluster of Macs let me know how it's going!