Xbox Gentoo Cluster Idea

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Snaver
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Xbox Gentoo Cluster Idea

Post by Snaver » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:23 pm

So i just wanted to throw this idea into the air. I know it's been done before, but not with gentoo to my knowledge. What i want to know is what kind of software shall i use in tandem with gentoo ie, what kind of clustering software would be best? I'm thinking of starting with just two or three xbox's, it all depends on how much money i can come up with, and the cost of buying xbox's, i'm also hoping to buy broken xbox's and repair them, and then use those, to keep the cost down.

Well as i said, just thought i'd put my idea out that, hopefully we can get a good discussion going.

Snave

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Post by GeniuX » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:42 am

I'm having the "Cluster idea" myself, I found a nice wooden case for 2 xboxes. So I want to cluster myself too... the biggest problem (I think) is that I'm working with Gentoox Pro and have to type everything in shell... no GUI
By the way, is'n webmin capible of clustering? (or could it be emerged?)
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Post by clpalmer » Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:39 pm

bleh... Gui's just overbloat things. If you say that the biggest problem with your setup is you have to type in the shell in Linux.... I don't think Linux is your best choice =)

What are you looking to gain by clustering? Most of the time, clusters are just used for things like shared compiling. distcc should let you share that across 2 or more boxes. I'm not aware of being able to share cpu for other tasks that weren't designed for it (ie. don't think you can try and "merge" the two boxes to make xwindows run faster or something)

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Post by GeniuX » Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:49 pm

bleh... Gui's just overbloat things. If you say that the biggest problem with your setup is you have to type in the shell in Linux.... I don't think Linux is your best choice =)
You'r having a point there :)
But I like the shell, but having to type full screens...
Get my point?
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Post by Snaver » Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:35 pm

I was thinking of useful things for my xbox, rendering farm, samba, web server/intranet, firewall, router.

I know you can do these things with one xbox, but will clustering allow for better performance? if you use the right software..

Another question i wanted to ask was can you achieve RAID 1 through software?

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Post by orochi » Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:39 am

In some cases yes you will get better performace, in others no, it depends on what application you are using. (e.g. wine games on the xbox vs big number crunching) You would first need to setup either OpenMosix (for computing performace) and/or distcc for compiling across the network. Both of which do not need a GUI to obtain

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Post by GeniuX » Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:07 am

I would like to run a game server... clustering a good idea?
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Post by Snaver » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:47 am

orochi wrote:In some cases yes you will get better performace, in others no, it depends on what application you are using. (e.g. wine games on the xbox vs big number crunching) You would first need to setup either OpenMosix (for computing performace) and/or distcc for compiling across the network. Both of which do not need a GUI to obtain
I wont be using a GUI on the xbox's themselfs to save on cpu cycles\memory. But i may put an old computer to good use as a master node, which can control the xbox's which will be attached to it.

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Post by GeniuX » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:53 am

I'm not using an GUI either.
My setup is PRO 2.0 fully updated + webmin and samba.
GUI indeed slows the box down.

For a Battlefield 2 server (yes I did try to run it on the xbox)
without GUI: estimated 3 people could join on the server.
with GUI: 1 person could join with high lag....

I think I said enough 8)
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Post by clpalmer » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:56 pm

Like orochi said, for game server you'd need openmosix. However, I can't see you getting much performance gain from running it that way. A game server isn't really something that can spawn multiple independent tasks that can be carried out on different processors. All the data from the connected players must come through one pipe and be processed together as they all affect each other. Unlike things like compiling, where you can split individual source files or modules apart and send them to another box for compilation as they don't rely heavily on each other. In a game server, though, I imagine the degradation in performance from the overhead of sending tasks back and forth across the 100mbit lan wouldn't be outweighed by the benefits of having mutiple processors at work. Might be a fun experiment, though =)

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Post by orochi » Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:25 am

the time it takes openmosix to migrate computing to other clusters would take too long for the instant response needed for FPS games (all for that matter)


For applications where number crunching is needed (math calculations etc.) and instances where instant results are not needed would be best for clustering (dont try to emerge with openmosix, you will get many segfaults for those that are wondering)

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Post by GeniuX » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:11 am

I'll try it anyways 8)
Like clpalmer said:
Might be a fun experiment, though =)
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Post by Bucko » Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:02 am

I set-up my own cluster a few days ago. I have a 1.1 and 1.6 Xbox both running the latest Gentoox Home V6.1 and both are configured with distcc and compiling things to seem to be faster.

I manage both through TightVNC on my PC so it's fun compiling things and I guess it's better compiling on the same Xbox platform to.

I just want to figure out how I can send 3DStudioMax jobs to them so I can speed up my 3D work rendering but 3DSM doesn't seem to support a Linux network rendering manager (backburner type thing :().

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Post by gnif » Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:54 am

Btw... in reference to Raid1 in software...

Yes, its possible, the kernel just needs support compiled in. There are plenty of software raid examples out there. Its not very hard to setup, I have a server that runs 2 80gb drives in raid 1, and a 3rd is setup as a spare in case one fails.

Raid in the xbox is kind of a moot point tho... since it only has 1 IDE interface, if one drive dies, the other will die aswell since the faulty one will lockup the IDE interface and the PC will crash anyway (although your data will be safe). You should always run each HDD on its own controller when running raid.

I suppose you could raid the internal drive and a USB drive.... but because its only usb 1, it would be sooo slow.

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Post by orochi » Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:08 am

2 drives on the same ide chain > ide and a usb drive anyday. Drives can be on either channel, it doesnt matter that they be separate, if one drive goes bad guess what, which chain it is on is the least of your worries.

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