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Grid Computing with VMware

January 18th, 2009

HPC really isn’t something I’m involved with, or ever have been involved with. But I am starting to pay a little attention. ONTAP GX is going to (eventually) get converged with ONTAP 7G and we’ll have Grid Computing based storage, potentially platform independent (don’t forget V-Filers!). I’m not holding my breath just yet for that, but believe me it is coming!

But lets look at HPC in a traditional sense, grid computing for processing power. This has long been the domain of super-computing and universities doing some serious number crunching. I do my part and join the World Community Grid to donate some FLOPS every now and then.

VMware have been looking at the physical servers for awhile as a combined resource, but lets face it, it’s not really the truth just yet, you are still definitely limited. So what if we combine traditional HPC with VMware? VMware then becomes transparent to the hardware it’s running on, it’s just running on one system, in the background this is actually tens, hundreds, thousands of grid nodes.

Could we even run this over the World Community Grid? Probably not, but it’s a cool geeky thought!

So you need extra resources, then you simply add new hardware and the grid cluster just assimilates this and VMware runs better.

VMware are doing their own thing here, and I will be watching the blank space that is ESX 4 with eager eyes to see what they’re doing here.

This is getting labeled up as Cloud computing a little bit at the moment, and I’m not a huge fan of that turn. It’s just too fluffy (yeah, I’m a comedian!). But it is really. Cloud computing is far from a new idea, this is what Grid Computing is all about, and has been all about for years. Beowulf clustering was/is great fun for home geeks with loads of old hardware they want to put to good/interesting use.

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