Dauger Research Inc.
has released Pooch 1.3. Pooch is an acronym for Parallel OperatiOn and Control Heuristics application — the company’s cluster management software for the Macintosh. The new version now supports multiprocessor Macs, Rendezvous and more.
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Billed as “plug and play parallel computing,” Pooch provides a user-friendly face for AppleSeed, the Mac-based parallel computing project originally developed by physicists at UCLA in the late 90’s. AppleSeed is still being used to transform networked Macs into parallel processing clusters capable of crunching huge amounts of data simultaneously.
The new version can launch multiple parallel-computing tasks per node, and supports Macs equipped with multiple processors (like Apple’s new Power Mac G4 systems) as well as Mac OS X’s preemptive multitasking capabilities. One API enables applications to take advantage of parallel processing across and inside nodes simultaneously, according to the developers: Message-Passing Interface.
“Parallel applications already written using MPI need no modification to utilize multiprocessor Macs; the extra processor merely appears to be another node. With MPI and Pooch, applications can both use multiprocessing and get ‘outside the box,'” said Dauger Research.
Pooch also supports Rendezvous, the zero-configuration networking technology implemented in Mac OS X 10.2, “Jaguar.” This supplements Service Location Protocol to perform registration, discovery and resolution of cluster nodes over both networks and the Internet, according to Dauger Research.
Pooch 1.3 also includes previously introduced capabilities like a quick installation, the ability to combine nodes over the Internet, AppleScript-based job queuing, 512-bit command encryption, 76-node scalability, multiple user interfaces, cluster access for mainstream apps and much more.
Pooch 1.3 is shipping to current users with an active subscription; Dauger Research recommends using Mac OS X 10.2.1. It’s available for US$175 for the first compute node for new users, then $125 for each node thereafter — academic pricing is available.
System requirements call for Mac OS 9 or later or Mac OS X 10.2 or later, as well as Mac OS X Server 10.2 or later; 4MB of available RAM and 2MB of disk space. It also runs on Xserves.