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Is it possible to combine processing power of 2 computers?

Hi,

I have 2 laptops at home. Could someone please suggest some free cluster softwares using which I can make a HPC out of these 2 laptops so that when working on one of the laptop, I can use RAM,CPU of both the laptops, because sometimes when I have been browsing in many tabs for long and softwares and movie, my system gets slow.

Also, does this cluster set-up support applications transparently. I mean after cluster set-up, can any application which I run on a machine gets speeded up or only those applications which the cluster supports. Are there any browsers,mpeg players which support being run on clusters?

Also, advise on how to connect these 2 laptops, because cluster set-up needs physical connectivity of these computers.

Thanks,

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 13 '11 at 9:31

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marked as duplicate by William Hilsum, Sathya Feb 13 '11 at 11:00

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+1, for just being an interesting question. alhtough misplaced –  starcorn Feb 13 '11 at 9:24
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Please don't cross-post. –  Dennis Williamson Feb 13 '11 at 9:35

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

This doesn't work. You can't just magically (and transparently) share memory and CPU resources between distinct computing node (or laptops in this case). Clusters typically work such that you have one or more director where users schedule tasks to be performed. The director then dispatches these tasks to the actual computing nodes where they are performed. Task execution is done on a node independent from all the others. Once the task is finished, the director node is notified and the result is delivered back to the user.

Note that this is a batch system, so you enter a task and get the result back some time later, This is vastly different to interactive computing you do on your laptop like browsing the web. If nothing else, the latency of accessing the resources of the other node will kill your experience.

Concluding: This doesn't work. Better invest some money in more RAM or even build or buy a new Dektop PC. You can get vast amounts of CPU power and memory for a few hundred bucks today.

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Can try openmosix, but i'm not sure how recent that is. To my knowledge thats the only thing close to what you describe you required. Other than that, Holger Just is completely correct. Most cluster systems require specially written software.

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