the virtual cpu

Dec 07, 06

for quite a few years now, i’ve had this idea of a virtual cpu. it all started back in… oh i guess 98 or 99 and my fascination with the beowolf architecture. i convinced a friend of mine to help me persuade the company we worked for to give us like 20 of the old computers. the intention was to setup 2 beowolf clusters and then to… i dunno make them do something. this is really before i was into development, but i loved scripting and batch files and using linux to do something like this seemed pretty cool.

fast forward to now, my idea is this. you setup a cluster. any cluster size, shape etc. it doesn’t matter. preferably for a machine to be ‘in the cluster’ you would just install an app or something like that. it would have to connect to a traffic controller or something. then, you would install a driver on your machine that utilized the cpu cloud for processing. your machine would see it as another cpu. this may not sound as cool, but take a scenario like this. say you are a company who has 100 machines. you need to migrate to citrix for some reason. now your machines processing is lying dormant. you could install a service, install a simple controller box (or maybe more with a single point of entry), or maybe just install a different service. or maybe there is a listener on all of the machines and they dynamically decide who is in charge. kind of like master browser stuff.

i digress. anyway, say you are this company. you want to give a boost to your sql server, and maybe your iis server. neither is used heavily, but sometimes they have spikes. so you install your virtual cpu and bammo. you can use all that extra horse power.

my original idea also involved distributed memory usage and disk space too. just spread it all around the cloud in some sort of ultra parity and retrieve any of it from anywhere. now, while the memory may not be better or even close to memory locally, imagine if you could setup a ram drive using the ram spread across 100 machines. imagine, not only the speed ramifications of utilizing all these machines, but the ability to continue using your old machines. places like google, can always try and reduce power consumption etc. i know that’s the big new thing, processes per power unit or whatever. but if you aren’t a huge company and you already have those assetts depreciating on the books, it may be worth it. heck, maybe there’s a creative way to write it off. /shrug