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How to steal/share compute cycles

Posted on 2014-01-08
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Last Modified: 2014-03-31
Hi,

I work in a company that employs 'Quants' to develop statistical predictive models. One issue they often have is the time it takes to run optimisations of their data. I was thinking that this can be alleviated by providing them with a framework (They dev in c#) which they can extend and it will spread their computing across any registered machines.

So their are 2 parts to this

1 - A way of providing a framework which they can easily extend and will look after pushing their code to any registered machines.
2 - Having the node be unobtrusive to other applications running (A node will just be another users machine in this case)

I've been looking at implementations of the Actor pattern to achieve the first part and saw one that looks great (http://actorfx.codeplex.com/). Unfortunately this seems to only run on Azure which doesn't fit with my idea.

So my question is whether there are similar solutions already available in .net, and if not what recommendations would you have for me to start with?

thanks
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Question by:basil365
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39765232
Hi Basil,

The SETI@home project developed computer cycle stealing/sharing software:
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/

It morphed into a general piece of software called BOINC that is now used beyond just SETI@home:
http://boinc.berkeley.edu/

It is available under the GNU LGPL, so you could integrate it into your own software without your company being required to release the source code of your own portion of the software (if that's an issue for your management). Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:basil365
ID: 39765786
thanks - i had looked at BOINC, but unless i'm mistaken it requires any apps to be written in c++?
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 39765852
My understanding is that it supports C++ directly but that the API is compatible with C and also that there are wrappers for many other languages. I've read of folks using BOINC with Java, Python, and even the stone-age Fortran. Haven't done it myself, but there's a lot of talk about it on the web. My interest is in finding those extraterrestrials.  :)   Regards, Joe
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LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 39928415
Hi Basil,
Just checking in with you, as it's been more than two months since the last post here. I'm wondering if you have this issue sorted or if you're still working on it. Cheers, Joe
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Author Closing Comment

by:basil365
ID: 39966482
Hi Joe - thanks for the follow up - I'm no longer working on it, but we are looking into HPC service pack as a solution.

regards
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