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Re: st: Stata/MP and SSI


From   ariley@stata.com (Alan Riley)
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Stata/MP and SSI
Date   Thu, 18 May 2006 23:08:34 -0500

Henrik Stovring (hstovring@health.sdu.dk) asked about running Stata/MP
on a cluster computing platform using OpenSSI:
> Stata has recently announced that it ships a multi-processor version of
> its program, which is very exciting. At our system we have a so-called
> SSI cluster using OpenSSI (www.openssi.org) which is a linux
> distribution capable of turning single PC's into a single, multiple
> processor computer connected by ordinary ethernet. I would hope and
> expect that this would be an ideal environment for running Stata/MP, but
> my question is whether any have any experience or guidance on this? As I
> think this might be of general interest, I post to statalist as well in
> hope of a public answer.

Henrik also sent his question to Stata technical support, where it
arrived a few hours before it made it to Statalist.  I replied privately
to him already.  For others on the list who may be interested, I will
attach that reply here:

  I do not believe that OpenSSI would be a good environment for Stata/MP.
  Stata/MP is implemented using OpenMP and very fine-grain parallelism.
  The overhead of transferring data and collecting results across a networked
  grid or cluster of computers for fine-grained parallelism would far outweigh
  any speed benefit from splitting the computation across multiple CPUs.
  Stata/MP is only appropriate for use on a single computer with multiple
  cores or processors in it.

  For a cluster environment, a user could set up scripts which would launch
  multiple separate instances of Stata to perform certain tasks (such as
  separate parts of a simulation) and then collect the results together at
  the end.  We have heard of some users doing this with Stata already.


Alan
(ariley@stata.com)
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