Proposal for Fedora@Home
I saw this first mentioned on LWN... but an employee from Red Hat named Bryan Che... who just happens to be the Red Hat product manager for a new Red Hat product, Red Hat Enterprise MRG... has made a request to the Fedora Project Board. The proposal is quite interesting... and given the last couple of sentences, perhaps you have figured it out already.
I'll quote the email:
From: Bryan Che
Subject: Proposal: Fedora-AT-Home Project
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2008 09:48:34 -0500
Hi, my name is Bryan Che, and I am a long-time Fedora user and also the Red Hat product manager for a new Red Hat product, Red Hat Enterprise MRG (http://redhat.com/mrg). I would like to propose to create a new "Fedora@Home" project at Fedora which would use the open source technologies in MRG (and which have already been submitted to Fedora).
MRG includes a grid scheduler based on the Condor project created by the University of Wisconsin (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/condor/). This scheduler includes the ability to harness idle CPU capacity from desktops and also schedule to virtual machines. I'd like to create a Fedora@Home project where Fedora hosts a MRG grid scheduler, people can donate CPU time on their computers for computations, and we schedule meaningful or useful work to these people's computers. This would be like an open and general-purpose Folding@Home or SETI@Home project.
Ideally, we could include the client software for computation as part of Fedora distributions and build out a large, million+ node open grid for things like Fedora infrastructure tasks, scientific computing, or socially-beneficial work.
This would be fantastic for Fedora as it would allow us to lead the open source movement into the area of open services and community computing based on open source. It would also be a great marketing showcase for Fedora by showing our leadership in grid technology and in the power of our community. And, it would provide Fedora users a feel-good way to contribute to Fedora--even if they don't code--by contributing CPU cycles towards things like builds or automated testing. Finally, for full disclosure: as the product manager for MRG, I would also love to be able to point to a Fedora@Home project as a showcase of the technologies in MRG at work in a massive, public grid.
Red Hat and the University of Wisconsin recently signed a partnership that makes available the Condor source code under an OSI-approved open source license (mostly ASL). We have packaged Condor, submitted it to the F9 development branch, and are maintaining it there. The University of Wisconsin's Condor project remains our upstream code base and community. So, from a technology perspective, we should be able to build Fedora@Home using technologies that will all be in Fedora.
What are your thoughts on this?
(Please post replies to firstname.lastname@example.org as that is where I will be following discussion)
I hope the Fedora folks go along with it. If they do, I wonder if it could make it into Fedora 9? Perhaps that would be asking too much.
Sounds like a way cool idea. I'd also imagine that several other distros would join in and add MRG grid as an optional feature... and then we could also use it to measure some other things... like how many users are using which distro. Heck, the distros could even compete against each other... as to which distro has the most computing power and donates the most CPU cycles. Not quite accurate but better than Distrowatch's link thingie I think. :)
Hmmm, I'm assuming that an institution with a large number of MRG systems... could also use the feature for local computational jobs? That being built in would be handy for institutions that already have MRG based grids in operation... and I'm assuming it'll be a default feature of RHEL at some point... or an addon option?!?
While Rocks Clusters offers more grid computing technologies... I'm wondering if adding MRG to Fedora and other distros would have an impact on Rocks Clusters deployments?