24 June 2018

24th of June

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Four i7-6700's running Einstein gravity wave work
One i7-8700 running Seti work

Nvidia GPUs
Two running burst of GPUgrid with Seti

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
I have 3 of the i7-6700's off  while I am running a couple of the Nvidia GPU machines. The sun is out so its warm during the day. I let the Nvidia GPUs idle during the day but nights are cool so they run overnight. The remaining i7's are crunching 24/7.


Power9 CPU
I had a look at the IBM AC922. They sport dual Power9 CPUs with up to 22 cores/88 threads. They can also be fitted with 2-6 Telsa V100 GPUs (way too expensive for me). They are an ideal number cruncher. They are installed in a number of computer clusters such as Summit at the Oak Ridge National Lab and Sierra at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

There are a couple of other companies also selling Power9 based computers such as Raptor Computing which have a Talos II (dual CPU machine) and a Talos II lite (single CPU machine) that is more affordable at $1399 (USD) without CPU or memory.

I'd love to get one or two of the AC922's even if they don't have Tesla's in them they'd make a great cruncher. Sadly while they run Linux out of the box and there is a BOINC client for them in Debian I would have to get various science apps and recompile them for the PPC64LE architecture and optimise them. That is something I don't have the expertise to tackle.

16 June 2018

16th of June

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Running Einstein gravity wave work

Nvidia GPUs
Running GPUgrid plus Seti

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
Einstein gravity wave work has been hard to get recently. They have 2.9 million work units left to complete in the current search but there doesn’t seem to be many ready to send on the project server. That means my computers go idle due to lack of work. Yesterday evening I had one of the i7’s request work for over an hour and each time it got none.

Intel still haven’t managed to get their Neo drivers into Debian. This driver replaces the Beignet package on the 8th generation or later CPUs. Its available on Github but is yet to make it into a package.


Outstanding things
I still need to sort out the i7-8700’s. I just need a PC installer to assemble them and I could then swap out the 6th generation ones. I might have to resort to taking them down to a nearby PC shop and getting them assembled.

I’m not sure how to get a 10Gbe network going. Sure I can get.a couple of switches with 10Gbe (ASUS have a fairly cheap one) but the routers I am using don’t have 10Gbe capability which means they would need to be replaced. Most of the network cabling I have is Cat6 and fairly short which is good. The 10Gbe routers however are expensive. Which one to get and how to hook it up to the ADSL are my problems. I need to find a networking guru to consult.

The other thing on my list is to see if I can get HTcondor going and run BOINC as a backfill for the cluster (just like the real clusters do). My experiments using the Raspberry Pis didn’t work out so I need a guru who also knows HTcondor.

27 May 2018

27th of May

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Five running Asteroids, Einstein and Seti

Nvidia GPUs
Two running overnight doing GPUgrid and Seti

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
I managed to pickup some GPU work from GPUgrid. They’ve been concentrating on their multi-core CPU app and GPU work has been in short supply. This time I got some short and long work units which have been running fine. This exposed a problem with my app_config file that wasn’t working for the short work units. I use an app_config file to allocate a whole CPU thread to their GPU work units which makes then run quicker. I resolved the issue with it.

Asteroids and Einstein both passed 50 million credits. Asteroids gave another badge as a result. I have been running Einstein overnight on the i7-6700’s. It sometimes takes a few goes to get the gravity wave work and I have to manually intervene until they’ve got tasks.

I was concentrating on Seti work to keep it ahead of Asteroids and Einstein however they ran out of work units this weekend so its back to Asteroids for a bit. Seti gives less credit than the other two therefore it takes more processing to keep the credit scores aligned.

The Bramble increased to 12 crunchers and I used all 3 of the Mk II Pi^4 cases I had printed off. See MarksRpiCluster for details.

12 May 2018

12th of May

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All running Einstein gravity wave work

Nvidia GPUs
Off

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
Winter weather has arrived allowing numerous machines to run constantly. I’ve been concentrating on Einstein work but have the Intels running down so the Nvidia GPUs can be used. Due to the power available (domestic grade power circuits) I can’t run all of them at once, even if the weather allows me to.

Additional USB chargers and some Y split fan header cables arrived, as did three Pi3 model B+. I have swapped the NFS server over. One has been put into service crunching, that gives 11 compute nodes for the moment. I am waiting for the L shaped power cables to be able to get the remaining one into my third Pi^4 case.

I haven’t worked out what to do with the remaining Pi2 and Pi3 model B’s, but I do have the prototype Pi^4 case with the 40mm fans that I could use to get some of the Pi3’s going. The Pi2’s don’t need active cooling so can run with the top off their case. I will need more network cables and SD cards to be able to use these. I really should have another look at NFS booting them. Or I could give the Pi2’s away.


BOINC testing
We’re testing 7.10.2 at the moment which is a release candidate. It looks like it will finally fix the BOINC event log (aka messages) stuffing up the time format under Linux. It also moves the boinc data directory in Linux to be in /var/lib/boinc with a symlink to the old one at /var/lib/boinc-client.