[R-sig-hpc] ps3 / amazon ec2 clustering

Dirk Eddelbuettel edd at debian.org
Thu Jan 15 22:19:56 CET 2009

On 15 January 2009 at 20:49, Sean O'Riordain wrote:
| Good evening,
| Seeing the article on the ps3 in Computer [1], and realizing that cell
| engines are better at singles than doubles which doesn't suit R. Has
| any body used a ps3 or ps3s for R work?  Can I use the "research
| budget - no really" excuse? :-)

Yes, Doug Bates pioneered that years ago, see

and follow-ups. Choice quote: "It's great to be able to run R on my DVD
player."  That said, he used plain old Ubuntu and if I recall correctly they
may have stopped supporting that platform.  CCing Doug (Hi Doug: posting here
requires subscriptions, so expect a bounce on reply...)

As for ps3 and cluster computing with R: Don't know.  One does see the odd
reference to cheap research clusters built with ps3 machines.

| Secondly has anybody used the Amazon EC2 [2] - elastic computing cloud
| to do R work? I see that Zementis [3] is using it for a service for
| "predictive analytics" - if it was setup properly with snow etc, it'd
| be a comparatively cheap way of pulling in processing power for
| simulations - as and when needed... and you only pay for what you
| actually use.

I learned via the Open MPI lists that Open MPI is now supported there so you
could get Open MPI, Rmpi, snow, ... via the (current !!) Ubuntu images on
Amazon EC2.  I have no practical experience with this though.


| [1] http://www2.computer.org/portal/web/computingnow/news?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=How+to+Turn+Your+PS3+into+a+Supercomputing+Node&utm_content=seanpor%40acm.org&utm_campaign=CSMC6-Jan.+13
| [2] http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/
| [3] http://www.zementis.com/
| Kind regards,
| Sean O'Riordain
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Three out of two people have difficulties with fractions.

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