[AG-TECH] Microsoft Research Access Grid node up on one box

Jeff Ramacher jeffr at mhpcc.edu
Thu Mar 15 17:19:56 CST 2001


Good job!  As part of your testing you should pick an event from the
schedule with many sites (10+) to see how it holds up under stress.  We
initially had audio + control on one machine and video capture + video
display on another machine (2 in all), but eventually split to four
machines for maximum flexibility and performance.  
E.g, if audio craps out (known to happen) I only need to reboot one

I have to admit it would be really nice to have one console to control
everything from though, even if services are running on separate
machines.  We have two monitors on four machines (w/ 2 KVM switches). 
Sometimes this becomes a real pain when you must move quickly.

Incidentally, we're using FreeBSD for video capture, Windows NT for
video display, GNU/Linux for audio, and Windows 98 for control.
Jeff Ramacher (jeffr at mhpcc.edu)                | (808) 879-5077, x264
Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC) | fax (808) 879-5018
                                               | http://www.mhpcc.edu

Jay Beavers wrote:
> Just thought I'd let you know that I'm now running an Access Grid node
> on a single ~$4500 computer (not counting displays, microphones,
> cameras) successfully.  I've seen 35 QCIF & 3 CIF video streams work
> great spread across multiple monitors.  Some details:
> * Hardware
>         Dell Precision 330 Workstation (Pentium IV/1.4 GHz @ ~70% CPU
> utilization, 512 MB RAM w/ 155 MB in use)
>         Primary display adapter NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS
>         Secondary display adapter Matrox G200 MMS Quad (four analog
> video outs)
>         2x Dell LCD panels @ 1600x1200
>         3x Compaq MP2800 Projectors @ 1024x768
>         Integrated full duplex audio on motherboard
>         Integrated 100BaseT Ethernet on motherboard
>         Osprey-200 Audio/Video capture card
>         3x free PCI slots (2x PCI, 1x AGP in use)
>         El-cheapo microphone
>         Sony S-Video camera
> * Software
>         Windows 2000 Professional, Service Pack 1 & Windows Updates
> applied
>         Osprey-200 drivers v1.52
>         Access Grid Virtual Venue 2000-1219 software
>         Stock VIC v2.8ucl-1.1.3-win32 (necessary to enable send &
> receive on one machine, AG VIC has send disabled)
>         Stock RAT v4.2.13
>         Multicast Beacon v0.63
> * Changes from standard Access Grid 2000-1219 installation
>         Added stock VIC & RAT to add video send & audio send/receive to
> one box
>         Moved all services to one Windows 2000 computer
>         Applied Internet Explorer MIME associations for AG components
> (previously sent to this list)
>         Modified start-beacon.bat to use "jview ..." instead of "java
> ..." to work with MS VM native to Windows 2000
> * Issues uncovered during testing
>         Pre-Beta 2 Windows XP (next release of Windows 2000)
> incompatible with RAT send (RAT receives just fine)
> * Work moving forward
>         Investigating interoperable, more efficient Windows client
> applications based on DirectShow and TAPI functionality included in
> Windows 2000 & Windows XP
>         Investigating improving video quality & system efficiency using
> different codecs like MPEG-4, MSVideo, & MSAudio
>         Investigating improved CPU efficiency with new Pentium-IV
> optimized codecs
>         Investigating software echo cancellation (part of upcoming
> Windows XP release)
>         Investigating fault tolerant multicast RTP video transport
>         Future integration work pending discussions with AG team @ ANL
> FYI, I'll be out of office next week and not very responsive to
> questions about this setup while offsite.
>  - jcb

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