Why use a check point file? was: Re: [RC5] client versions - AIX

Jack Beglinger jackb at guppy.us
Wed Oct 2 23:46:52 EDT 2002


Check point files are great for a machine with a harddrive.  

I have machines that are nothing but a motherboard w/ a network boot rom.  
They have enough memory to load a distro, a ram drive and dnet.  By using 
battery backup and smallest block sizes (think: check point file == micro 
blocks), my network cranks and the power use is low... no drives spinning, 
or monitor glowing.  And no overhead of cluster software... each machine is 
quiet little node, doing a single job.  

Yes, I had some nodes checking in work even 6 minutes, but that is same 
as a check point file, spinning up a hard drive, and writing data.  But you see 
I have one machine having to do that, the proxy server, and since multiple 
machines are crunching - the drive does not spin down.  

Now you say... use a network drive to write that check point file... Why?  It is 
faster to return and request a new block from proxy, and I do not have 
support NFS mounts or SMB or worry about two machines sharing the same 
drive space.

To add a new machine, setup the rom, add to bootp/dhcp and away it goes.

jackb

> 
> this is what checkpoint files are for... /ALL/ my machines use
> checkpoint files... all my machines are on UPS', too...
> 
> Blain Nelson wrote:
> > 
> > 10/2/2002 7:59:54 AM, "Timothy Marsh" <Timothy.Marsh at usm.edu> wrote:
> > 
> > >
> > >----- Original Message -----
> > >From: "Jack Beglinger" <jackb at guppy.us>
> > >To: <rc5 at lists.distributed.net>
> > >Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 3:32 PM
> > >Subject: RE: [RC5] client versions - AIX
> > >
> > >> First off, a week is too long for any work unit.  It was also the most
> > >current
> > >> version available.   OGR has no appeal to me - for this very reason.
> > >
> > >Since the same amount of credit is given no matter how long the unit is, it
> > >seems to me that the only problem with having a longer unit is that it
> > >delays the update of your stats until it is finished.  I can see how stats
> > >junkies (I must admit I love stats too) would have a problem with this, but
> > >I imagine most stats junkies also have some faster machines that don't take
> > >more than a day to do an average OGR unit.  I don't think a week is that
> > >long to wait.
> > >
> > 
> > The problem with taking a week is that, if your system crashes in that week, you lose the whole block.
> > My P90 took huge amounts of time to do OGR-25 blocks, and would crash before they were done semi-
> > consistently.
> > 
> > I recognize there are features which can mitigate this somewhat, but point it out as another problem
> > with work units that take too much time.
> > 
> > Take care,
> > Blain
> > 
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