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MacMini
01-16-2005, 11:00 PM
Anyone know if you can run the VA Tech software that clusters the XServes on the MacMini? Think of it, you could cluster 5 or 6 MacMini's together and have a supercomputer in a shoebox. Might be an interesting hardware project.

styrafome
01-17-2005, 02:26 AM
Apple has XGrid (http://www.apple.com/acg/xgrid/) which has system requirements that look like the Mini can handle it.

cwtnospam
01-17-2005, 08:15 AM
Apple has XGrid (http://www.apple.com/acg/xgrid/) which has system requirements that look like the Mini can handle it.
Xgrid is very easy to install for the clients, too. I'm running it for
http://cmgm.stanford.edu/~cparnot/xgrid-stanford/index.html
and it runs in the background while your system is idle. I can't say what it's like to set up on the server end, but they say that part isn't too hard either. The problem has to be of the "embarrassingly parallel" kind, so all work units need to be independent of each other. :)

Although the Mac Mini can probably handle Xgrid, based on the specs I'm guessing that it would take 5 or more of them to equal a dual 2 ghz G5 as far as processing power. They would then cost more and consume more electricity, so I don't think I'd buy a bunch just to form a cluster.

Craig R. Arko
01-17-2005, 09:05 AM
Plus with only 100-BT Ethernet or FireWire 400 to interconnect them; the performance will not get you on the Top 500 list anytime soon.

Still there are probably are a few things for which this would be useful, beyond the geek chic factor. I'd also agree that a dual G5 would be more cost effective for them, though.

cameranerd74
01-17-2005, 10:44 AM
Interesting that you guys noted that. I didn't think of a cluster arragment, but the first thing that came to mind when I saw the Mac mini was a server. Think about it.... headless... small... affordable... stackable.... If you put OSX Server on one of those it would make an excellent File/Print server. For small businesses and design firms especially. You could easily add FW RAID arrays if you need more storage. As long as the power supply is solid I think it's a possibility.

schneb
01-17-2005, 11:11 AM
...the first thing that came to mind when I saw the Mac mini was a server.That was the first thing I thought of when it was still just a rumor.
http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?t=32741

On the cluster side of things, I think Apple should setup an inexpensive, small cluster of dual Xserves to show how easy it is to create--say, one rack.

cwtnospam
01-17-2005, 01:05 PM
On the cluster side of things, I think Apple should setup an inexpensive, small cluster of dual Xserves to show how easy it is to create--say, one rack.

In a way, they aready have. They can't do it themselves, because the cluster wouldn't be any good without a project to run. What they've done is give out the software as a preview and let people set up grids. Want to join one? Check out my post above for a link.

styrafome
01-17-2005, 03:21 PM
Interesting that you guys noted that. I didn't think of a cluster arragment, but the first thing that came to mind when I saw the Mac mini was a server. Think about it.... headless... small... affordable... stackable....

Yes, it looks like an OK server, but despite the design, Apple officially discourages stacking (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300577). Although the tech note almost makes it sound like it might be OK to stack if you aren't using the wireless. Then again, I thought I read that somebody was told at Macworld by an Apple guy not to stack the mini.

cameranerd74
01-17-2005, 04:22 PM
I looked at the Mac minis at MWSF, but I didn't get the chance to talk to any of the reps about them. In any case I would think it would be really easy to build a rack for them to keep them slightly separated.

Just think how cool it would look to walk into a server room and see a bunch of minis on a table on in a rack or whatever. It would definitely be different.

schneb
01-19-2005, 03:07 PM
Or...

How about a rack LaCie D2 drives as a mini-raid with the Mac Mini on top?

cameranerd74
01-19-2005, 10:40 PM
Even if it wasn't the fastest server ever, it would still LOOK really cool. :D