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SMP Folding

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TC

Senior Seti Addict
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
Location
Denver, CO
I've taken a long hiatus from seti and folding, and thought about picking it up again. I've got two quad-core centos servers at my disposal so I decided to read up on getting folding for smp going. I thought surely by now they would have developed an easy to install smp client. What's all this I see about only having a 64 bit linux client, and having to install vmware server just to run an smp version? Seriously is this their idea of progress? For those running vmware server what kind of performance hit are you seeing? I would think for anything performance oriented vmware esx would be the only way to go? Is 64 bit linux the only smp option available for linux? This sounds like it has gotten harder to run smp, not easier, but hopefully I'm wrong about that.
 

sneakysnowman

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Location
Switzerland
64bit is indeed the only way to run SMP with linux. Afaik the performance between the different vmware versions is pretty much negligible. Performance with a VM is generally <5% lower than with a native linux 64bit install.
 

Adak

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
I've taken a long hiatus from seti and folding, and thought about picking it up again. I've got two quad-core centos servers at my disposal so I decided to read up on getting folding for smp going. I thought surely by now they would have developed an easy to install smp client. What's all this I see about only having a 64 bit linux client, and having to install vmware server just to run an smp version? Seriously is this their idea of progress? For those running vmware server what kind of performance hit are you seeing? I would think for anything performance oriented vmware esx would be the only way to go? Is 64 bit linux the only smp option available for linux? This sounds like it has gotten harder to run smp, not easier, but hopefully I'm wrong about that.

You can run all the FAH clients for linux, in a native 64 bit desktop version. It does have to have the 32 bit libraries as well, but that's easily added.

You can use VMPlayer, VMWorkstatiion, or VMServer, if you want to run the faster linux A2 core, work units, and still keep Windows as your host OS.

Yes, 64 bit linux is required for smp WU's. VMPlayer uses a customized kernel from Slackware, and is the fastest virtual program for folding, so far.

I prefer to run smp WU's in native linux (Ubuntu 9.04 currently). It's reliable, so running them headless is no problem.

Making the clients more stable has been the focus. There has been progress with all the folding clients, in that area. I agree, it was definitely needed.

The systray version has an easy installer on Windows. That was important.

For native Linux, we have an excellent guide here: << shameless plug >> :

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6062136&postcount=7

As the clients gain in reliability, they will be given added ease of use functions. I know it seems backwards sometimes, but there are other priorities for the FAH team, that we don't see.

One example is the new extra large WU's, which were brought about by a donated use of several hundred systems of at least 8 cores.

If your servers has 8 cores (real or hyperthreaded), you don't want to miss folding these extra large WU's - they're big for science, and huge for points as well, with a new sliding scale for the number of awarded points.

My little 2x5420 Xeon server gets 53,000 points every 2.7 days folding them, so think about it.
 
OP
TC

TC

Senior Seti Addict
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
Location
Denver, CO
Well, these are production servers with 32 bit centos. I guess my only option is to load 64 bit ubuntu under vmware server. Seems kind of backwards, but better than letting these servers sit idle most of the day. I just have a hard time envisioning good performance under a hosted hypervisor. We never use anything but a bare metal hypervisor when performance counts.