All Hail the Kraken!

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Kraken are supposed to be gargantuan sea-monsters with giant tentacles and a fearsome appetite.  The EML has its own Kraken.  Although our Kraken is small, at least by the standards of sea monsters, it is powerful and potentially fearsome.  Kraken is the name for our computing cluster.  We chose the name because the numerous power cords and ethernet cables emanating from the cluster reminded us of the legendary monsters.

At the moment, Kraken consist of 8 computers:

1 Xserve with two,  3 GHz quad-core processors
7 MacMini's each with one 2 GHz dual-core processor

(the EML is happily PC-free, I'll justify this at some point...).  Multiplying the computers by their number of cores gives us the ability to run 22 simultaneous programs.  Currently, we are using Apple's built in Xgrid system to submit jobs to the Kraken.  When Kraken is treated carefully, with the appropriate deference, it is great for weakly parallel procedures such as optimizing with a genetic algorithm or the ensemble Kalman filter.  When Kraken is not given the appropriate deference (that is, when you screw up the xgrid syntax or how xgrid manages jobs), it can be downright fearsome.

Kraken.JPG
A few of Kraken's tentacles.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Pershing published on January 20, 2009 10:38 PM.

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