[AG-TECH] Question about AccessGrid small nodes

Thomas Uram turam at mcs.anl.gov
Sun May 10 23:42:59 CDT 2009


Can you elaborate this point for us so we can fix it before going to  
3.2 final?

> We are running AG 3.1 b/c
> 3.2beta breaks the mpeg4 and extended services that we need.

On May 10, 2009, at 11:09 PM, Gurcharan S. Khanna wrote:

> Cameron,
> Yes, it was me. The larger project is the RIT Global Collaboration  
> Grid, which envisions
> using the highest possible technology to create a single virtual  
> space for all of RIT's sites.
> See http://rc.rit.edu/collaborationgrid.html for an overview.
> The current architecture for this distributed yet coordinated set of  
> nodes is simply standard
> AG nodes. To reduce maintenance and enable others to contribute with  
> minimum cost and
> headaches, I have been asked to move closer to an appliance model,  
> where I would specify
> the hardware and software exactly so that it would be guaranteed to  
> work first time, every
> time. While I have been reluctant to go in this direction, it's  
> obviously the only way to get
> the buy-in I need to move quickly and credibly to deploy the  
> collaboration grid. (Actually,
> I would like to go even further and develop a 'thin-client' ag node  
> but that's another story...).
> So, we just ordered parts for ten little computers which balanced  
> small form factor with cost
> from NewEgg and GovConnection. Our original spec was to be able to  
> send one DVTS
> stream and receive at least five, using the extendedvideoservices in  
> the access grid. We tested
> the first one with this spec and it passed (except for the onboard  
> GigE) so we ordered ten more
> but with a PCI GigE card. However, we really probably want to do  
> some H.264/Mpeg4 as well
> but we need to run benchmarks for that still. Anticipating that we  
> ordered five systems with a
> dual core processor and five with a quad core processor to see what  
> the difference would be.
> The mpeg4 encoding has been quite intensive especially when you get  
> up to 720 and 1080
> resolutions so it's a real concern. We also required firewire ports  
> for the DVTS. So far, we
> have only run WindowsXP but intend to try out a linux as well. We  
> are running AG 3.1 b/c
> 3.2beta breaks the mpeg4 and extended services that we need.
> Here are the student-built computer specs:
> Motherboard, AMD 780G, Phenom FX, MATX, Max 8GB $82.00
> DDR2, PCIEX16, PCIEX, 2PCI, GBE, Vid, Aud, SATA,RAID Asus Computer  
> Intl.
> Processor, Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition 3GHz, 6MB L3 $240.00
> Cache, 1800MHz FSB, Box AMD
> ATX Desktop Chassis, PSI300 PS, 4U, 1394, Black $60.00
> In-win Developement
> 1GB PC2-6400 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM DIMM $11.25 (x4)
> Kingston Technology Corp.
> Processor, Athlon 64 X2 5600+ 2.8GHz, 1MB L2 Cache, Box $73.00
> Intel Pro 1000 / GT - OEM Single $27.00
> 80GB WD Cavier Blue SATA Internal HD 8MB Cache, $36.00
> 7200 RPM Western Digital
> For audio (when needed) we are standardizing on Phoenix Duet  
> Executive USB echo
> cancelling mics at $180 and for cameras, the cheapest firewire Sony,  
> DCR-HC52 MiniDV
> Handycam® Camcorder $249.99 List Price. Output display devices will  
> vary with location
> and could be LCD panels or projectors. Different locations will also  
> affect the audio solution.
> We don't have an inexpensive solution for a good, single mic echo  
> canceller for a non-tabletop
> venue.
> I'd be happy to elaborate on any of this and why we chose it and  
> where we're going. It's
> a somewhat moving target but we are trying to get something in place  
> that will be adaptable
> as well.
> -gurcharan
> PS RIT Venue on the ANL server is where you can see where we're at  
> at any point in time. -gsk
> Purvis, Cameron wrote:
>> Hello, from Cameron at the University of Alabama!
>> I’m sorry if I have this mixed up: I believe that, in the  
>> AccessGrid Town Hall meeting Tuesday morning, that I heard about  
>> RIT building out small AccessGrid nodes based on inexpensive  
>> desktop computers. I couldn’t make out the name of the speaker well  
>> but I think it may have been you. The vision was to link several  
>> rooms together with standardized units all in a grid venue. That  
>> sounds like something that could be a very good demonstration of  
>> the technology here in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It also sounds like  
>> something that would be fun to observe as the community starts to  
>> play with the technology.
>> If you guys are working on something like that – a sort of  
>> standardized design for small nodes – I’d love to be in touch with  
>> the right person to talk about that. This is something I’d like to  
>> replicate here, and would appreciate the chance to collaborate with  
>> RIT.
>> Thanks!
>> --
>> Cameron Purvis
>> University of Alabama Office of Information Technology, Research
>> ckpurvis at ua.edu <mailto:ckpurvis at ua.edu> (205) 348-4677
> -- 
> -------------------------
> Gurcharan S. Khanna, Ph.D.
> Director of Research Computing
> Office of the Vice President for Research
> http://rc.rit.edu
> Assistant Research Professor, Ph.D. Program
> Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
> http://people.rit.edu/gskpop
> Director, Interactive Collaboration Environments Laboratory,
> Center for the Advancing the Study of Cyberinfrastructure
> http://icelab.rit.edu
> ---
> Rochester Institute of Technology
> 1 Lomb Memorial Drive
> Rochester, New York 14623-5603
> Phone: 585-475-7504  ~  Cell: 585-451-8370
> Email: gurcharan.khanna at rit.edu

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