OS/2, eCS & ArcaOS - Technical > Setup & Installation

Cluster solution (AKA parallel programming) on OS/2 architecture?

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Hello all. Just a few thoughts here.
I recently was given some eeePC net-top boxes (Intel N160/270, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB hard drive each) mounting Windows 7 OS, and found they are perfectly targeted by linux distros.
Somehow the idea of connecting them in a private LAN and using them as a parallel PC solution (clustering) came to mind and, lo and behold, I found a Linux solution for this. Basically this should turn a group of PCs roughly identical in computing power in a "single" machine working on all the CPUs and resources of its components. This would mean having a "single" 7 CPUs PC with 14 GB RAM and more than 1 TB MSD, expandable adding other machines (more or less: of course there's much overhead due to LAN and other quirks).

And it's all OK and right. But: I was wondering if somehow a similar solution exists (or could exist) on OS/2 architecture? I seem to remember there was a PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine) software on Hobbes but never gave it a try.

I'll look at https://www.csm.ornl.gov/pvm/pvm_home.html (if it still exist) and maybe study a little. In the meantime I'd love to hear your opinions (having a 8 CPUs OS/2 machine with 16 GB RAM would be fun).


Martin Iturbide:
Hi Mentore.

First, congratulation for your newborn baby.

I don't know abut Parallel computing. For what I know (and I been told) it is used for calculations that can go faster if you use multiples CPUs in a kind of network, and for what I read it requires some specific programming. It seems it can be used for some Matlabs calculation and similar things.

I still do not know what will be the main use of pararllel computing on OS/2, maybe it will be good to get some samples that runs on PVM and see how much time it takes the calculation on a single machine, and later run it on two or three machines in parallel to see the "magic" :)

But I don't know any other use of Pararallel computing beside statistics calculation, maybe someone with more knowledge can give us more examples.


Dave Yeo:
There's distcc, https://www.distcc.org/ to spread a build over several machines, be handy for example Mozilla which with -j5 (5 jobs so all 4 cores are usually busy) takes over an hour and a half here.
Could probably be ported, it would need to be made aware of the OS/2 specific GCC switches such as -Zomf.

Neil Waldhauer:
I think we can probably get enough cores in one machine. The Ryzen ThreadRipper 3990X desktop PC processor already has 64 cores, the maximum possible with the OS/2 kernel.

What might help more for building the browser is cross compiling to OS/2 on a 64 bit platform.

Dave Yeo:
Throwing more cores at it results in diminishing returns as you have memory and storage bottlenecks. Even 4 processes each allocating a GB of memory and a couple of GB's of temporary disk space will bring the system to its knees.
While cross compiling would be best as even running 32 bit programs on a 64 bit system gives the full 4GB's of address space there's other simple speedups such as ccache where only changed files are recompiled instead of a header change triggering a full rebuild.
Anyways, it was just an example of distributed computing.


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