The Metacomputing project is focused on efficient ways to utilize the resources of many computers that are connected by a network to complete the required work by the required time. We are looking at two environments: The first is a network of workstations, where all of the computers are of the same architecture, running the same operating system and are connected by a relatively fast network. We use the MOSIX Multicomputer Operating System enhancement of BSDI Unix as a test-bed for this environment.
The newest activity in this project takes ideas developed for Mosix and in earlier projects and moves them into the realm of the web and Jini networks.
The Backhand project allows efficient resource management in a cluster of web servers. mod_backhand, a realization of this idea, is an Apache module which is now available. We are currently researching the best decision mechanisms for this exciting domain.
The Frugal System transforms Jini-enabled networks into metacomputers. The Frugal System allows users on any machine in the network to run their Java jobs on any other machine in the network. It uses advanced decision-making algorithms to automatically place these jobs on the best machine, guaranteeing near-optimal end-to-end performance of all submitted jobs. Documentation on the Frugal packages is found here.
Previous work includes the Java Market. Building on the Java applet concept, this project constructed an Internet-wide market for computational resources, where producers can lease out their machine by pointing their Java-capable browser to the market web page. Consumers can post their tasks on the web and lease computing resources from the Market. This market, called the Java Market, matches consumer tasks with producer resources.
The Share project is an Internet-wide metacomputing distribution system designed to scale to very large numbers of computers. It distributes jobs to run on many computers around the Internet.
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Funding:The Metacomputing project is partially funded by DARPA/ITO and is part of the Quorum initiative.
Click here to view our February 1999 PI meeting presentaion.