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Shared computing...kinda.

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Last response: in Systems
August 8, 2011 3:58:24 PM

I have two old hp Compaq d530 CMT desk tops. They exactly the same OS, memory, space, mother board everything. Is there a way that I can link the two so one computer handles stuff like downloads, music, video streaming and the other web surfing and other general programs like ati-virus and word?


I'm not really that good at computers I can play around with hardware a bit and reformat drives but most people can do that kinda stuff.

Anyway just post with any ideas you've got.

Thanks.

More about : shared computing kinda

August 8, 2011 7:39:33 PM

Getting ready to try your hand at cluster computing?
Any problems with learning a new operating system like Linux or Mosix?
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August 10, 2011 3:17:37 PM

WR2 said:
Getting ready to try your hand at cluster computing?
Any problems with learning a new operating system like Linux or Mosix?

I probably wont go any further than two unless I happen upon another clone. I'm just trying to hook the two together and hopefully get some functionality.
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August 10, 2011 3:30:44 PM

Hi, I'd ignore the clustering and go for moving parts to get the best possible system.

For example, can you double up on memory by moving the memory from one PC to another (do you have free slots on the MB)? Do you have room to put both hard drives in one system? (I don't think your MB support raid, but if it did...)

Aside: these are P4/agp era systems. For me the responsiveness of even web surfing with a modern $300 system would make me move both these old servers to the basement waiting for recycle day. Going from a P4 1.6 ghz to an E7500 based system with fast hard drive a few years ago was night and day -- and you have the next generation of llano and sandybridge based systems to choose from.
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August 10, 2011 3:31:33 PM

It's not something you'd be able to convince Windows to do for you.

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August 10, 2011 3:36:09 PM

Probably the easiest thing to do would be to just remote into the second computer and control it from the first. The second computer can handle the long running processes (downloads and streaming) and then you just minimize the remote desktop window and continue surfing on the first system.

Probably the next easiest thing would be to get a KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) switch; preferably one with a keyboard hot-key switch (use a keyboard combination like Alt+F12 to toggle which computer you are controlling/viewing).

Not sure if this is exactly what you had in mind, but I ran a set up like this for several years with no issues.

-Wolf sends
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August 10, 2011 3:38:04 PM

Actually, I should say the consumer versions of Windows to be more accurate.
There are some high end software packages (Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Suite is one that comes to mind) that would get the job done. Not a cheap solution.
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August 10, 2011 6:18:30 PM

tsnor said:
Hi, I'd ignore the clustering and go for moving parts to get the best possible system.

For example, can you double up on memory by moving the memory from one PC to another (do you have free slots on the MB)? Do you have room to put both hard drives in one system? (I don't think your MB support raid, but if it did...)

Aside: these are P4/agp era systems. For me the responsiveness of even web surfing with a modern $300 system would make me move both these old servers to the basement waiting for recycle day. Going from a P4 1.6 ghz to an E7500 based system with fast hard drive a few years ago was night and day -- and you have the next generation of llano and sandybridge based systems to choose from.

It would be easy to combine the hardware. I was just wondering if there's a way to do that without losing one of the processors.
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August 10, 2011 8:26:26 PM

WR2 said:
Actually, I should say the consumer versions of Windows to be more accurate.
There are some high end software packages (Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Suite is one that comes to mind) that would get the job done. Not a cheap solution.


I think there is also work in the Globus Grid toolkit (usually unix based) to get some functionality in a windows environment. I don't think there is anything that would give transparent ability to run workloads like an unmodified anti-virus on one PC that could do a deep inspection of running processes on another, but i'm not an expert on this.
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August 10, 2011 8:44:27 PM

whightee said:
It would be easy to combine the hardware. I was just wondering if there's a way to do that without losing one of the processors.



That needs a server motherboard with two processor sockets. AFAIK there were no P4s that could run dual socket except for the XEON parts. I think you are out of luck combining the PCs transparently to make a large single system image.

WR2 and other are talking about software packages that would enable special cluster enabled applications to schedule work to different PCs as part of solving a bigger problem. Scientific workloads often use clustering this way to build massive amounts of CPU from small, cheap parts. Business applications sometimes support clustering to get some piece of fault tolerance (e.g. the SAP application suite). But in general windows, browsers, etc. are not enabled for clustering.
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August 10, 2011 10:10:01 PM

I can do AV scans, manage files, etc around and across networked hard drives. But to do the type of things I think the OP wants I don't believe Windows XP is the OS going to get it done.
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August 14, 2011 6:06:42 PM

Well thanks for the input. You answered all my questions. Since I'm not going to be doing an complicated calculations I think I'll just combine the hardware although the idea of a Beowulf cluster in my basement is kinda cool.
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