Workshop: First Combined International Workshop on Interactive Urgent Supercomputing
Authors: Nick Brown (Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), University of Edinburgh)
Abstract: Urgent computing workloads are time critical, unpredictable, and highly dynamic. While efforts are on-going to run these on traditional HPC machines, another option is to leverage computing power donated by volunteers. Volunteer computing, where members of the public donate some of their CPU time, is a powerful way of delivering compute. However, volunteer computing has required user installation of specialist software which is a barrier to entry.
We believe that an alternative approach, where visitors to websites donate some of their CPU time, is beneficial. This is an immature field and there are numerous questions that must be answered to understand the viability of leveraging website visitors' compute. In this presentation, we describe our web-based distributed computing framework, Panther, and perform performance experiments using real world hardware and browsing habits for the first time. We demonstrate this is viable for urgent workloads, but there are numerous caveats to be considered.
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