| Source: Business Line, an Indian National Newspaper | Business Line Index|

Paradisc - Making The `Most of Both Worlds'

January 9, 1997

Our Senior Correspondent


The computing power available on homogeneous networks can now be put to better use, thanks to a newly-designed parallel programming environment, Parallel and Distributed Computing (Paradisc), which helps in the execution of the user's tasks and provides access to resources beyond that available through a standard system.

A paper, titled `Paradisc: A cost-effective model for parallel and distributed computing', was presented at the third international conference on `High-performance computing (HiPC)' hosted by the Technopark here.

A team of experts from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Bangalore, said in the paper that Paradisc, as a scalable openframe computing model, provides the transparency needed in a network of homogeneous system of PCs, workstations and minicomputers connected through a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN).

The team comprised Mr. R. Achutha Raman, Mr. Rajkumar, Mr. G. Hari Prakash and Mr. B. Bala Kishore of the CDAC. According to the experts, Paradisc supports three models of computing by providing the functions required to view any homogeneous network as a loosely coupled parallel computer, processor pool architecture or a cluster of workstations.

It aims at providing a cost-effective parallel and distributed programming environment to academic and R&D institutions as it employs the existing LAN, and models it to support both the paradigms.

By relying solely on commodity hardware and software, a network of workstations can offer parallel processing at a low cost. Such a network can be realised as a processor bank in which dedicated processors provide computing cycles. It can also consist of a dynamically varying set of machines that perform long-running computations during idle periods.

Paradisc provides a software model of integrated solutions not found in a single unit in the earlier systems and precludes any change in the underlying current set-up, including the network and operating system. The main aim is to build a transparent, distributed and parallel environment which is flexible, cost- effective and simple too.

Paradisc, therefore, is a software model which provides the best of both worlds, parallel and distributed, the experts claimed. It uses the existing network of homogeneous computers to run parallel programmes using the logical connectivity method and executes distributed programmes utilising the power of other idle computers and pool processors in the network. The basic idea is to provide users with the illusion of a single but powerful time- sharing system.

Paradisc is typified by specialised components such as the Paradisc server, which includes a configuration server, a processor pool server and a resource server. The Paradisc server configures a group of computers logically to the required topology and it allocates idle machines and pool processors for users on demand.

As a loosely coupled parallel machine, the network can be configured to standard topologies or user-defined topologies suitable to the problem domain. These topologies are logically connected through the configuration server provided by Paradisc.

The network can be configured into any of the two modes, parallel or distributed, or both, with the use of two different configuration files. Each node maintains a per-process node connectivity status. It enables the identification of neighbourhood nodes. The configuration server maintains the global per-process connectivity information. The interprocess communication is provided by a process communication interface.

Copyrights © 1997 Business Line & The India Information Inc.
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of Business Line & The India Information Inc.

Copyright © 1997, The India Information Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Indiaserver is a trademark of The India Information Inc.