An interesting paper on the use of the Plan 9 operating system for “Grid Computing” (widely dispersed cluster computing using resources from many places – kind of like a Beowulf over the internet) is linked from this site:
(Yes, I’m on a ‘computing kick’ at the moment… Whatever is going to come out of Paris was decided months ago and the present show trial is pointless. So I’m mostly waiting to assess the damage on offer at the end. Oh, and wondering how many Great Lies our Dear Leader will serve up…)
It’s a pdf, 8 pages long, so easy to download. (But hard to cut / paste quotes… so you get to read it yourself ;-)
This paper describes the use of the “Plan 9 from Bell Labs ” distributed operating system as a Grid Computing infrastructure. In particular it compares solutions using the de facto standard middleware toolkit for grids, Globus, to an environment constructed using computers running the Plan 9 operating system. These environments are compared based on the features they offer in the context of grid computing:
Here’s the main Plan 9 page:
Quick summary of it:
A video of a talk about R.Pi Plan 9, and links to someone playing with it:
As my major interest is in just the kind of software development and distributed computing that Plan 9 is geared toward, I’m now interested in trying it out a little. (The “High Concept” being a port of GIStemp and a GCM or two to the Raspberry Pi and then a “Global Gaggle Of Pi” that could run a simulation run over the internet. Who needs a 2048 core $BILLIONs supercomputer when you could have a Global Grid of millions of cores of Pi?… )
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the logo is a bunny ;-)
Basically, it looks like a much easier way for the “typical person” to get rolling with widely distributed computing and without as much pain and suffering as the alternatives. It also looks to be securely built from the ground up. For instance, the main Plan 9 file server at Bell Labs is outside their firewall… I like any OS that can be run “in the wild” and not get blow up, hacked, or taken down… Which also means this intersects with my other main comput interest: Secure and Private computing.
It may well take a week or three for me to get around to it, as Things To Do are stacking up at about 5 x the rate of getting them done, sigh… But it’s now “on the ToDo list”.