Author Topic: Cluster systems  (Read 3087 times)

demetrioussharpe

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Cluster systems
« on: 2011.05.12, 15:35:52 »
Out of shear curiosity, I wonder how OS/2-eCS would perform on a clustered system. Has any one ever given this a try, even on a very modest cluster?
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RobertM

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #1 on: 2011.05.13, 02:31:46 »
Ugh... sad topic.

Depends on what you mean when you say "cluster systems".

There are a few little known OS/2 related things out there that either (a) implement "massive" SMP or (b) qualify.

(a)
IBM eServer xSeries 430 (good luck on finding much on this one)

This was a 64 way xSeries designed to run OS/2. If memory serves, it was designed specifically for OS/2 (in it's 64 way configuration). I believe there may have been some neato specialized OS/2 drivers for it as well. Obviously, it was massively expensive, though a few actually got bought (haven't been able to find one in ages though).

This was released right about the time that IBM dropped any real support for OS/2. The machine was also intended to run Windows XP Pro/Windows 2000 (and subsequent releases) utilizing all 64 CPUs. Microsoft had no clue what they were doing, though, and could not implement either 64 or even 32 CPU support. IBM assisted them in writing 32 CPU support and revised the machine to provide segmenting (as two 32 CPU machines). Performance, as neither XP or Win2000 was good at using multiple CPUs (even in the event a program was compiled for it) was abysmal. IBM then moved on to much "smaller" machines consisting of 2, 4, 8 and (very few, usually through fiber interconnects) 16 way machines (such as the x440 and x445 series).

(b) OS/2 Clustering
Directory and Security Server for OS/2 (and more)...

A little known product (actually, one many people either dont know exists, or think never did) is DSS for OS/2. It enabled a plethora of neat features for OS/2. Those features included using the full power of Lan Server Administrator to administer... lots of things... OS/2 domains, Windows domains, etc. It also enabled multi-domain login, multi-domain resources, wide area domains and so many other features that still haven't been fully developed for anything on the PC world (to it's level).

In addition, it provided easy management of clustering support. DB/2, Domino and DominoGo were the first and prime targets for that. Technologies involved at the bottom. Eventually, DB/2 was revised to allow a form of "clustering" without the need for an OS that provided clustering support.

Alas, IBM pulled the plug on it once it was completed. Someone (cough, Microsoft), implemented a buncha changes in their networking implementations to make it incompatible. This, folks, was one of the core reasons Microsoft made those changes - it was not Warp client, or even Warp Server v4 - those were secondary.

This product meant you could mix and match domains, mix and match operating systems, mix and match server OS's... and all control them via full drag and drop on the OS/2 DSS server. Inotherwords, with OS/2 already outperforming Windows in all tasks on the same hardware (ie: much faster - sometimes faster on single CPU compared to Windows on 4), it meant that this was another product that would continue the erosion of their server market. People could install WS4 w/ DSS alongside their existing boxes, start migrating the various Win Server handled functions over to it, manage their entire network, and slowly phase out their existing WinServers for the far faster (and easier to manage) OS/2 servers. At this point, this was a major concern to Microsoft, who had no solution to compete with the mid-range and high-end server solutions out there... coupled with the fact that an OS/2 solution could, and do so at the same price as the slower Windows solution. This was around the time frame of NT4, where adoption was near nonexistent, and OS/2 was still making various inroads - especially to support the various OS/2 client and OS/2 client/server setups that already existed (such as State Farm, Pepsico, numerous mass transit companies, 90% of the banks, and much more). OS/2 and NT servers were running neck-in-neck for installed base at the time.

Anyway, it was supposed to ease the management of cluster setups.

I used to own a copy of it... but no longer have the disks. IBM provided it to me at a training event for the product, shortly before they phased it out and abandoned it.



Now... to that, there was IBM Netfinity Cluster Pack, IBM Standby Server, and other Vinca/Tivoli/Lotus/IBM products that created cluster environments. DSS simply simplified all management tasks.

And no, I've never seen such a setup except on the occasion of the IBM training on DSS - which was a no real load training setup.



I would presume it would blazingly crush (especially on IBM certified hardware) any Windows server. As a matter of fact, the most common comparison benchmarks showed it doing as well on UNI compared to Windows server on the same boxes configured with four CPUs.

If my own experiences are any indication, it can handle a crapload more traffic than Windows. It can handle CPU and thread intensive stuff FAR better than ANY version of Windows. And decently better in most cases than Linux. For testing, I have run the site mentioned in my sig... which started on a Win Server box (with 1/20th the traffic, and a tiny fraction of the content), which was migrated to a Linux box, which was then migrated to it's current home on OS/2. Additional testing has been done using the same versions of ffMPEG to do video transcoding... Windows loses again.
« Last Edit: 2011.05.13, 02:34:08 by RobertM »
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RobertM

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #2 on: 2011.05.13, 02:37:49 »
At the link below, you can find the mention of DSS being used for clustering management of diverse (or the same) operating systems, albeit not mentioned by name ("particularly if it includes cross platform management tools"):

Google Books Link: Infoworld article

The expectation we were given was up to 255 nodes...
« Last Edit: 2011.05.13, 02:39:29 by RobertM »
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demetrioussharpe

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #3 on: 2011.05.15, 16:01:48 »
I was thinking moreso of supercomputer clusters that are now prevalent. It would be interesting to run OS/2 on a Beowulf cluster. I have a feeling that the kernel can handle it, it's just a matter of finding (or writing) MPI software to manage the message passing between each physical computer.
The difference between what COULD be achieved & what IS achieved
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NNYITGuy

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #4 on: 2011.05.15, 22:17:56 »
I was thinking moreso of supercomputer clusters that are now prevalent. It would be interesting to run OS/2 on a Beowulf cluster. I have a feeling that the kernel can handle it, it's just a matter of finding (or writing) MPI software to manage the message passing between each physical computer.

I am kinda quiet around here, but I deeply desire to be a part of building such supercomputer cluster someday.  My resources are few for such at this time, but I do quietly hope that someday...  Someday I will be big enough to really participate and push such an effort.

Todd J Simpson (IT Consultant)
Business Automation Technologies
(Professional Products and Services.  Business to Business...)

RobertM

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #5 on: 2011.05.15, 22:55:41 »
Some of this work, I am sure has been done by IBM (via some of the products I have listed, as well as others).

I always wondered how useful it would be on the AS/400's that were equipped to run OS/2 in one of their hardware partitions...
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RobertM

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #6 on: 2011.05.15, 22:57:24 »
This may be a starting point to allow getting back to the original clustering goals IBM started and abandoned:
http://www.open-mpi.org/software/ompi/v1.4/

That would allow such clusters across a variety of operating systems.
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demetrioussharpe

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #7 on: 2011.05.16, 22:21:26 »
I was thinking moreso of supercomputer clusters that are now prevalent. It would be interesting to run OS/2 on a Beowulf cluster. I have a feeling that the kernel can handle it, it's just a matter of finding (or writing) MPI software to manage the message passing between each physical computer.

I am kinda quiet around here, but I deeply desire to be a part of building such supercomputer cluster someday.  My resources are few for such at this time, but I do quietly hope that someday...  Someday I will be big enough to really participate and push such an effort.



I've been entertaining the idea of creating a mini-cluster for home users & small businesses. It would be interesting to have such an item on the market.
The difference between what COULD be achieved & what IS achieved
is directly relational to what you COULD be doing & what you ARE doing!

demetrioussharpe

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #8 on: 2011.05.16, 22:23:10 »
Some of this work, I am sure has been done by IBM (via some of the products I have listed, as well as others).

I always wondered how useful it would be on the AS/400's that were equipped to run OS/2 in one of their hardware partitions...

I'm wondering if the standard x86 server or client versions of OS/2 could handle such a thing. Who knows, maybe these products used special versions of OS/2.
The difference between what COULD be achieved & what IS achieved
is directly relational to what you COULD be doing & what you ARE doing!

demetrioussharpe

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Re: Cluster systems
« Reply #9 on: 2011.05.16, 22:25:54 »
This may be a starting point to allow getting back to the original clustering goals IBM started and abandoned:
http://www.open-mpi.org/software/ompi/v1.4/

That would allow such clusters across a variety of operating systems.

Yeh, MPI is what I've had in mind. Though, I've known about it, I was hoping that OS/2 had something native already available.
The difference between what COULD be achieved & what IS achieved
is directly relational to what you COULD be doing & what you ARE doing!