Thursday, October 2, 2008

V2P (Virtual-to-Physical) for VirtualBox

So you might have had a great Virtual Machine which has your development environment or may be a specific build environment. You think the time has come now to free this VM and give its own dedicated hardware. Or even none of the above is true, you want to do it because you can :)

You will have to go do what is called as v2p (Virtual to Physical) migration. So lets just think about what exactly we are trying to do. We have Virtual Machine running inside a VirtualBox which has its own virtual hard disk. The converting a virtual machine to a physical machine is mainly about changing this virtual machine operating system boot from a physical real hard disk than virtual hard disk on which it was running when inside VirtualBox.

VirtualBox comes with one hidden command under its hood, convettoraw! This can be used in following manner,

VBoxMange internalcommands converttoraw your.vdi your.raw

So now you have a raw image of your VM (pleaes note that if you have a VM of say, 16GB dynamically expandable virtual hard disk, when you create a raw image it will actually create a file which will occupy 16GB on your disk! so make sure you have that much of space on your disk before procedeeing). Now this raw image can be deployed to another disk very easily.

Connect the disk on which you want to deploy the raw image that you just created to your existing system. Now depending upon on the Operating system that you are running the actual command may very. I will pick Linux as my host operating system on which I will assume the VirtaulBox is running. So this second physical disk appears as /dev/sdb on my Linux box, so I execute,

dd if=/location-of-your-raw of=/dev/sdb

Once its done, connect this disk as primary master to the system that you are planning run. At first boot, make sure the system is started with -r option to re-configure the devices.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Get that Grid on the Go! (Part - II)

Ok, So by now you already have OpenSolaris installed on your system. Lets convert it into a full fledge HPC development center on steroids :) That means you will require all the bells-and-whistles of cutting-edge state-of-the-art development environment and not just an IDE with compiler.

You will require svn (for any serious developer I don't have to explain this), gmake, mercurial, SUNWhea, SUNWarc, sunstudio (IDE and compilers), clutertools (It will get that MPI library on your system), apache, neon. Some of the things listed above are must, some are good to have, some are just because may be you will want to have them.

But at the same time we don't want to waste too much of time downloading/installing/configuring those applications. After all, HPC developers should focus on what they love to do, parallel programming. Let new OpenSolaris IPS packaging do the typical boring job of making sure you got what you actually thought! So we open up the terminal, become root and fire,

pkg install hpc-dev

and this is all we do! this will download and setup pretty much everything you need to start right away developing HPC applications right from your laptop.

In next section we will see how to test your applications on the same laptop where you develop those parallel applications using virtual cluster as well as grid. This will lead to lot of savings in terms of time and money as you don't have to upload your app to a physical cluster just to check that one single MPI_Barrier is causing your app to wait till Gnab Gib!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Talk: Cloud Computing

IEEE Computer Society - Bangalore Chapter (IEEE-CS-BLR)

Title of Talk: Cloud Computing by Dr Prasad Ram

Date : September 29, 2008 (Monday)
Time : 6 pm
Venue: Informatics (India) Ltd,
No. 194, R.V. Road,
Basavanagudi (Near Bangalore Hospital),
Bangalore 560 004


Cloud computing where consumers can access information and
applications that are owned and managed remotely and delivered over the
Internet have become popular. However enterprises in large part continue
to run their applications in-house. The benefits of near universal
access to information and applications without the excessive licensing,
integration and operations costs and the elimination of barriers such as
offline access and concerns on security, are encouraging more
enterprises to adopt cloud computing. This talk will discuss the
opportunities and issues with cloud computing. (Prasad has also promised
to give us an insight into the R&D work culture at Google, India.)

*** Please RSVP to, if you plan to attend this talk
as it would help them prepare in advance. ***

To subscribe to ACM-Bangalore chapter mailing list,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Get that Grid on the Go! (Part - I)

If you are a HPC (High Performance Computing) developer you know how hard it can get to test your code on the real physical cluster. You may need to reserve your slot on the common university/company HPC system (you got to be really lucky if your professor/manager has enough funds to have the full cluster for yourself, and in case you have this page would be still interesting to you... read on to find out). What if you are able to simulate the whole cluster on your... say a laptop! Morever this way you don't have to upload your code to HPC cluster to just to perform some simple MPI tests.

So step no. 1, go get and grab the copy of OpenSolaris 2008.05.

Step no.2, you may choose to format your laptop/desktop with it or why not try it on VirtualBox so that you don't have to disturb your current physical installation. I would recommend the VirtualBox way, as nothing has to be disturbed on your existing setup.

So whichever way that you have decided to go lets proceed with OpenSolaris installation. After you have completed the installation of OpenSolaris by hook and crook ;) lets start with real fun... watch out for Part - II :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Opps your proxy won't let you go out!

If you have tried installing SUN's HPC-stack Developer edition for Solaris behind the proxy - which helps developers with parallel computing to deploy apps faster and easier - might stall when the installer asks you download openmotif.

If you have came across this problem and despite setting the proxy when installer asks you, simply exit the installer and set the proxy in command line like much the same way you would do for your favourite 'wget' ;) i.e.

If you are using bash, export http_proxy='your.proxy:port'