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  DISI -> Research -> Areas -> Parallel and distributed systems -> Research topic

Research topic: Distributed computing on heterogeneous clusters of workstations


Cluster computing, Network of workstations, Distributed computing, Parallel middleware, High-performance computing


Networks of workstations (NoWs), mainly based on low-cost, PC-based systems, are becoming increasingly performing both for computational power and for communication speed. However, the heterogeneity often present in these networks is an obstacle to the efficient  porting of mathematical software from massively parallel processors to these networks. To deal with this problem various tools and projects have been developed and are under way.

We designed and implemented a tool (PINCO), based on PVM communication library, which monitors the available computational power at different nodes, allowing a convenient access to system computational resources, and provides a safe user interface, which activates the required function on the particular machine which at each moment may guarantee the best performance. PINCO has been developed inside a cooperation between DISI and IMA (CNR) of Genova. The easy adaptability of ScaLAPACK, a library of high-performance linear algebra routines, on PINCO has been proved.

Fault tolerant aspects are considered as well. The tool PVMsnap, developed by DISI and IMA, together with the User-Triggered CheckPointing system implemented at the Leuven Univerity, provides consistent cut, checkpointing and recovery in PVM applications.