A Framework for Efficient Cluster Computing Services in a Collaborative University Environment

Warrender, Robert (2015) A Framework for Efficient Cluster Computing Services in a Collaborative University Environment. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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Abstract

Parallel computing techniques have become more important especially now that we have effectively reached the limit on individual processor speeds due to unacceptable levels of heat generation. Multi-core processors are already the norm and will continue to rise in terms of number of cores in the near future. However clusters of machines remain the next major step up in system performance effectively allowing vast numbers of cores to be devoted to any given problem.
It is in that context that this Professional Doctorate thesis and Portfolio exists. Most parallel or cluster based software is custom built for an application using
techniques such as OpenMP or MPI. But what if the capability of writing such software does not exist,
what if the very act of writing a new piece of software compromises the integrity of an industry standard piece of software currently being used in a research project?
The first outcome was to explore how grid/cluster computing teaching and learning facilities could be made accessible to students and teaching staff alike within the Department of Computing, Engineering & Technology in order to enhance the student experience. This was achieved through the development of VCNet, a virtual technology cluster solution, based on the design of the University of Sunderland Cluster Computer (USCC) and capable of running behind a dual boot arrangement on standard teaching machines. The second outcome of this Professional Doctorate was to produce a framework for
efficient cluster computing services in a collaborative university environment. Although small by national and international standards, the USCC, with its forty machines and 160 cores, packs a mighty punch in computing terms. Through the work of this doctorate, ‘supercomputer class’ performance has been successfully used in cross-
disciplinary research through the development and use of the Application Framework for Computational Chemistry (AFCC). In addition, I will also discuss the contribution this doctorate has made within the context of my community of practice by enhancing both my teaching and learning contribution as well as cross-disciplinary research and application.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Computing > Information Systems
Divisions: Collections > Theses
Faculty of Applied Sciences > Department of Computing Engineering and Technology
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 14:51
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2017 22:16
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/5837

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