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The Parform

| A High Performance Platform

for Parallel Computing in a Distributed

Workstation Environment

Clemens H. Cap, Volker Strumpen

fcap, [email protected]

Institut fur Informatik

Universitat Zurich

Winterthurerstrasse 190

CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland

June 23, 1992

The typical workstation in a LAN is idle during large periods of time. Under the concept of a hypercomputer this unused, distributed computing power can be put at the disposal of the user. The dynamic, heterogeneous, and distributed environment calls for a platform taking care of transparency, parallelization, load balancing and other issues. We describe such a system which, by optimized design and dynamic load distribution, proves faster than many related approaches. Performance measurements and an analytic model on scalability are presented for an explicit finite difference PDE solver.

Keywords: Distributed parallel computing, idle workstations, dynamic load balancing, scalability, finite difference methods.

Subject Classification: D.1.3, D.4.7, C.2.5 (ACM/CRCS)

1 Introduction

Present trends in supercomputer development emphasize expensive technologies and specialized architectural concepts. Furthermore, we observe a significant increase of

?Supported by Siemens AG, ZFE, Germany and Schweizer Bundesamt fur Konjunkturfragen, Grant No. 2255.1