LHC@home 2.0 begins public testing

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Profile David Anderson
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Message 39537 - Posted: 9 Aug 2011, 0:55:11 UTC

LHC@home 2.0, the first volunteer computing project based on virtual machine technology, began public testing today. The CERN-based project uses home computers to simulate particle collisions.
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Message 39538 - Posted: 9 Aug 2011, 2:06:59 UTC - in response to Message 39537.  

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Message 39549 - Posted: 9 Aug 2011, 15:59:32 UTC
Last modified: 9 Aug 2011, 15:59:47 UTC

Please, before attaching to this project, do read the instructions on the project's front page about the installation of VirtualBox. Without this installation, this project will not work.

Also see their FAQ for frequently answered questions. Just so you don't have to ask it again on their forums.
Jord
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Sam

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Message 39573 - Posted: 11 Aug 2011, 11:44:53 UTC

Is there any news on when new registrations will be allowed, or is there anyway of obtaining one. I am keen to help but seem to be restricted to doing so.

Regards,
Sam
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Message 39576 - Posted: 11 Aug 2011, 13:26:26 UTC - in response to Message 39573.  

Registration is at this time still open. Don't let those reCaptcha's confuse you, those are there against spam-bots.
Jord
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Message 39577 - Posted: 11 Aug 2011, 13:42:02 UTC

People with already existing Virtualbox VMs are encouraged to back up their Virtualbox.xml file before attaching to Test4Theory, just in case something happens to your existing VMs.
Jord
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Message 39586 - Posted: 11 Aug 2011, 19:53:38 UTC - in response to Message 39577.  

Due to a large influx of people, probably after the BBC article, account creation has now been disabled on T4T.
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Profile Byron Leigh Hatch @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 39608 - Posted: 12 Aug 2011, 4:14:27 UTC

Project news for: Test4Theory - (AKA LHC@home 2.0)

Message 3253 - Posted 12 Aug 2011 3:16:13 UTC

Ben Segal - (Project scientist) - wrote:

We are working hard to understand and fix our job supply problem. We have made some code changes which will be automatically activated if you please REBOOT YOUR VM.

To do this, using the VirtualBoxVM Manager, select the tab "Machine" and do a Reset. This should be done with the BOINC T4T task running (not suspended) so the VM is running, not Saved or Powered Down.

Results may be slow to appear so please be patient once the reboot is done. "Resending 'want_getJob'.." messages may last for a while.

We will continue to give information as we have it. We are very sorry that the extremely fast ramp-up of users under Beta test has over-stressed our system for now.


http://boinc01.cern.ch/test4theory/forum_thread.php?id=286
http://boinc01.cern.ch/test4theory/forum_thread.php?id=286

http://boinc01.cern.ch/test4theory/index.php
http://boinc01.cern.ch/test4theory/index.php

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Roy K Clemmons

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Message 39617 - Posted: 12 Aug 2011, 14:11:30 UTC

When I try to connect to the LHC@home project, I receive a message stating "This project is not currently accepting new accounts"

What's up with that? Someone is soliciting users, but, at this time, nobody can join.
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Message 39632 - Posted: 12 Aug 2011, 18:56:03 UTC

Artem Harutyunyan wrote:
Dear All,

Following unexpected posts on major news sites on 11th of August we have started seeing the exponential growth of number of connected virtual machines. Every minute several new virtual machines were popped up. Just to give you a rough idea, before, when we were only on major tech blogs and news sites the shape of the curve which was showing the number of active virtual machines looked like this, after BBC and MSNBC wrote about LHC@home the shape of the curve in no time became like this.

Some of connected virtual machines apparently had problems with the application software (causes are still under investigation), and so they were getting jobs from our queues, were failing to run them, were reporting them back and were asking for more jobs. CernVM Co-Pilot (the framework that we use to distribute jobs from CERN into Virtual Machines and gather the results back) normally takes about a couple of seconds to generate a job request in a Virtual Machine, send it over to the server, pick the waiting job from the queue, prepare it, send it for execution, and start running it in the Virtual Machine. So, as you can imagine, with about 1000 active virtual machines, out of which several were 'rogue' and were basically doing nothing but draining the job server, our queues became empty very fast. We quickly ended up with queues, which were draining faster than our scripts could possibly feed them.

Normally, this would not have not been a problem at all: Virtual Machines were not supposed to jump on servers all at once when the queues were empty. There is a built-in mechanism which would make them exponentially back off, precisely for the reason of not overloading our servers. Everything would have been good, if we did not have a bug which prevented our exponential back off algorithm from working, and instead turned all our virtual machines into cannons which were firing at our server hundreds of requests in a second. Because of that we had to turn our servers down and empty the BOINC server queue (has nothing to do with the Co-Pilot queue). This meant that BOINC clients would not pop up new Virtual Machines anymore.

It took a while to figure the problem out, the updated code was pushed into CernVM File System repository about 2AM on August 12th (GMT +2), and the server was configured to prevent agents with the buggy code from connecting at about 10 AM on August 12th (because the bug is still there and they would still be flooding us). We put an announcement on the forums asking users to reboot (to make sure they pick up the updated code). After that the system started working again. Currently there are about 300 concurrently active machines. These are the users who got virtual machines before we emptied BOINC server queue and who rebooted them after our announcement. We are currently planning to slowly start adding new Work Units to BOINC server queue (100 at a time), which means that virtual machines should start to pop up on registered users' machines soon.

Our initial goal was to recruit about 2,000 volunteers (remember, we just wanted to do a Beta test) so that several hundreds of them would be active all the time. We carried out alpha tests with about 300 registered volunteers (which would peak up to 100 online volunteers). As you will soon read in the other, more general announcement that we are about to publish on our main page, we are already very close to having 8,000 registered volunteers. We will try to slowly ramp that number up to 10,000 after which we plan to stabilize for a while before future increases.

We would like to ask everyone to remember that we are still in Beta testing phase. Which means that outages like this are likely to happen again, in fact we do expect them to happen again. To discover and eliminate bugs we together with you are intentionally pushing the system well beyond its limits.

Last but not least, we would like to thank you all of you again, for your enthusiasm, help, patience and understanding!!!

Artem,
on behalf of LHC@home 2.0 Team.

Source.
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Message 39633 - Posted: 12 Aug 2011, 18:57:07 UTC

Daniel Lombraña González wrote:
We are flabbergasted! Interest in LHC@home 2.0 has exceeded our wildest dreams, following the huge press coverage that a brief mention in a CERN press release got us. Thank you, everyone!

Yesterday we reached nearly 8000 registered volunteers, which pushed the number of computers simultaneously connected to our server well over 1000. To give you an idea, with just 100 simultaneous connections we had already reached the equivalent of all the computing power at CERN that Test4Theory project physicists have access to. So getting more than 10x that in just a few days boggled our minds - and also bogged down our servers!

Since yesterday, we had to put further eager participants on hold while we sort out how to handle this huge amount of support. You can read a more detailed technical summary of the problems we encountered - and how we are fixing them - here. We're going to open gradually to more participants in the near future. We'll then stabilize for a while before further increases.

This was announced as a beta-test to explore the limitations of our system, and we certainly succeeded in doing that, thanks to your support. Particular thanks to all our experienced BOINC users in the forums who have been patiently explaining to newcomers that this sort of thing is normal in a beta-test. And hats off to our technical crew (which is basically just Artem and Anton in Geneva and Daniel in Madrid) who have been working literally around the clock to get the system running smoothly again.

In the meantime, if you are new to the field of volunteer computing, we warmly encourage you to browse here some of the many other exciting science projects you can contribute to, using the same BOINC platform that LHC@home is running on. And if you'd like to be kept up to date on LHC@home 2.0 progress, so you can be first in line when we are ready to accept more volunteers, just subscribe to the RSS feed for this News list.

The LHC@home 2.0 Team

Source.
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Nick Johnson

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Message 39645 - Posted: 13 Aug 2011, 8:10:55 UTC - in response to Message 39617.  

When I try to connect to the LHC@home project, I receive a message stating "This project is not currently accepting new accounts"

What's up with that? Someone is soliciting users, but, at this time, nobody can join.


Same here, any idea when we can join anyone?
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Profile Gundolf Jahn

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Message 39646 - Posted: 13 Aug 2011, 8:39:55 UTC - in response to Message 39645.  
Last modified: 13 Aug 2011, 8:41:40 UTC

Same here, any idea when we can join anyone?

Does anyone read a thread before posting?

Just one message before yours has given a link to the requested information:
And if you'd like to be kept up to date on LHC@home 2.0 progress, so you can be first in line when we are ready to accept more volunteers, just subscribe to the RSS feed for this News list.

The LHC@home 2.0 Team
(emphasis by me)

Gruß,
Gundolf
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Message boards : News : LHC@home 2.0 begins public testing


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