March 2002, BLUG Meet
Theme of the month -
Starting with this month
most of the monthly BLUG meets would be based on a theme ( the BLUG
is open to suggestions about topics for the meets to follow. If you
have any, please mail your ideas to the non-tech list ). The theme
for the March 2002 was "CLUSTERING". The meet
was organized at the terrace of Federal
Technologies (Fed Tec), Building.
And here's the minutes of the meet:
This month's theme seemed to have generated a lot of
interest. More and more people kept walking in. The final tally of the
attendance was 80.
Following the customary
tradition, (even) this month the BLUG meet started late, by half an
hour ( did I hear you say that's early ). With Mahendra calling the
socializing members to order, we began the proceedings for the
The first speaker Shankar
Balan ( Shanu ), gave us an insight into the "Clustering
Concepts", the basics, the jargon, the applications and the
LVS-Linux Virtual Server.
He also presented us
with overview of MPI ( Message Passing Interface ) and PVM (
Parallel Virtual Machines ) platforms. This was followed, or should I
say backed, by a demo, of using POVRAY to render an image, on a
single machine then on a cluster, thus demonstrating the advantage of
a cluster ( which unfortunately was not fully efficient due to the
usage of a hub ). Thanks to this talk I can now do a bit more than
just nod my head the next time someone is talking about clusters.
The next speaker Jagan
Shankaranarayanan, who spoke on "Versateam-A coarse level
Linux cluster". He demonstrated the simplicity of clustering
using a simple N-Queen program, and running it on a cluster. He also
demonstrated the following
Basic IPC mechanism
that can implement CRITICAL Section, Message Passing and Point to
point synchronization. The most interesting part is the
implementation of a snooping cache and serialization of the WRITE
Commands to these
Machines for Load Transfer.
The last speaker Balaji,
gave a talk on "Cluster File Systems".
He started off with an introduction to MOSIX file system, NFS,
AFS, Coda File system etc., a brief view of how load is shared
amongst nodes in a clusters etc,. A cameo of a talk as it was brief
and delivered with optimum efficiency.??
Now that we were done
which the proposed agenda, it was time to head for FOOD....but
Mahendra got Atul to fill
in, for the food was yet to arrive ( groan!! ). The actual reason was
that Mahendra and Hanish had not imagined that the attendance for the
meet would shoot up to 80.
The original expectation was 50.
So, the delay in getting more food for the BLUG members.
Atul's talk was
based on the "Business aspects of Clusters".
He spoke about the true potential of clustering and its cost
effectiveness, its simplicity, and what it could do for developing
and developed countries ,etc.,etc.,. After Atul's talk, Super
Computers sounded like some obsolete, outrageously expensive and
garish technology. He also highlighted the wide scale opportunities
available in "Cluster development", and the vast support it
commands. He very aptly winded his talk by saying "The concept
of a single computer could be compared to someone's quote that 640KB
of memory is all one would need" ( No prizes for guessing who
said that ). He also commented that in 5 years, clusters would be
used in applications like gaming, where a cluster would be essential
to play Quake. The future IS
In the meantime, food
arrived. Mahendra wound up the meet. The speaker's position is
closest to the food table, so he managed to be the first in the queue
for food. ( Advantage of being the co-ordinator ). Shanu tried to
break into the line, but was booed out by the hungry BLUG-ers.
Food time restarted the
So Until next time . . .
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