BOINC Communication Bandwidth Question

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Heidi1
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Message 16128 - Posted: 30 Mar 2008, 5:50:35 UTC

Greetings,

One of my computers is on a dial-up, running Rosetta, which has a number of files, some of which are some 2MB in size. I've looked everywhere on the BOINC interface, as well as the project's website, and I can't find a way to INCREASE the amount of bandwidth that BOINC can use. I can only find an option of choosing the maximum bandwidth, but nothing to choose the minimum.

Is this possible? The files per WU are taking a really long time to download because only a small percentage of the total available bandwidth is being used. However, on another computer running a different project and with access to DSL, those WUs do download much quicker. But the dial-up ones generally take some 30 minutes just to download the files, and I would like to decrease that.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Nicolas

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Message 16129 - Posted: 30 Mar 2008, 6:11:35 UTC - in response to Message 16128.  

One of my computers is on a dial-up, running Rosetta, which has a number of files, some of which are some 2MB in size. I've looked everywhere on the BOINC interface, as well as the project's website, and I can't find a way to INCREASE the amount of bandwidth that BOINC can use. I can only find an option of choosing the maximum bandwidth, but nothing to choose the minimum.

Is this possible? The files per WU are taking a really long time to download because only a small percentage of the total available bandwidth is being used. However, on another computer running a different project and with access to DSL, those WUs do download much quicker. But the dial-up ones generally take some 30 minutes just to download the files, and I would like to decrease that.

The default maximum is no maximum. It tries to use all it can.

There is no such thing as a minimum bandwidth. The minimum is 0, when the network is completely overloaded with traffic :)

The only way to increase speed might be getting better Internet :)

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Heidi1
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Message 16147 - Posted: 30 Mar 2008, 21:56:31 UTC - in response to Message 16129.  

The default maximum is no maximum. It tries to use all it can.

There is no such thing as a minimum bandwidth. The minimum is 0, when the network is completely overloaded with traffic :)


Thanks for your answers. I should have been a little more specific, which is in response to the quote: My computer's problem is that, when downloading files, it is far short of 100% of the available bandwidth, which I can check on Task Manager. It's using more like 15%. I've changed my prefs to have the maximum be the speed of my modem, but maybe I need it to by higher to trick BOINC into actually using more? I've tried different numbers in my prefs, but nothing seems to make any difference.

My modem is at 49Kbps, and the BOINC file rate is totalling about 5-6Kbps at any given time (obviously less if I'm also doing web surfing), but that's as high as it gets.

Again, it's not crucial, but it is annoying.
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Nicolas

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Message 16148 - Posted: 30 Mar 2008, 22:18:23 UTC - in response to Message 16147.  
Last modified: 30 Mar 2008, 22:19:03 UTC

Thanks for your answers. I should have been a little more specific, which is in response to the quote: My computer's problem is that, when downloading files, it is far short of 100% of the available bandwidth, which I can check on Task Manager. It's using more like 15%. I've changed my prefs to have the maximum be the speed of my modem, but maybe I need it to by higher to trick BOINC into actually using more? I've tried different numbers in my prefs, but nothing seems to make any difference.

Like most other network apps, BOINC is already trying to use as much as it can.

My modem is at 49Kbps, and the BOINC file rate is totalling about 5-6Kbps at any given time (obviously less if I'm also doing web surfing), but that's as high as it gets.

That might be a measuring unit misunderstanding. Dialup modems are always at most 56kbps (kilobits; lowercase 'b' on the abbreviation). This is equivalent to 7KB/s (kilobytes, uppercase 'B'). I'm not sure if there is any standard on uppercase/lowercase 'k', but it doesn't usually matter. BOINC (and most other programs that do network activity) show speed in kilobytes.

Telephone line noise makes it impossible to actually reach that number. Back when I had dialup, 5KB/s is the maximum I ever reached.

EDIT: now I have 600kbps cablemodem, which is theoretically equivalent to 75KB/s, but I usually reach no more than 72KB/s.
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Metod, S56RKO

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Message 16150 - Posted: 31 Mar 2008, 6:46:36 UTC - in response to Message 16148.  

I'm not sure if there is any standard on uppercase/lowercase 'k', but it doesn't usually matter.


In IT, standards seem to be governed by marketing guys. In science, though, there's standard saying that lower case letters are used as prefix for unit multiplier smaller than 1 while upper case letters are used as prefix for unit multipliers larger than 1. Notable exceptions from this standard are prefixes 'k', 'h' and 'da' which all denote multipliers larger than 1. They are lower case due to historical reasons (da is particularly ugly beast being two-letter prefix).

See also Definitions of the SI units.


Metod ...
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Nicolas

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Message 16174 - Posted: 31 Mar 2008, 18:08:54 UTC - in response to Message 16151.  

Back in your first post you said you're getting 2MB files in about 30 minutes. If you're using a 56K modem (nobody ever marketed a 49K modem) then 2MB in 30 minutes sounds about right to me.

If it really reached 56 kilobits per second, 2MB should finish in 5 minutes. It's common to get 4 or 5KB/s in reality, which would be 8 or 9 minutes.
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Heidi1
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Message 16214 - Posted: 31 Mar 2008, 21:57:11 UTC

Thanks for everything. I'll reset the prefs back to -0-. I just thought maybe if the program prefs actually stated the available bandwidth speed, it might try to actually attain that. Oh well. Also, I've noticed my DSL doesn't use up all of its bandwidth, either, but again we're dealing with 100Mbps here.

BTW, I used the upper-case "K" because my computer had it that way. I know it really doesn't make any difference.
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John McLeod VII
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Message 16255 - Posted: 31 Mar 2008, 23:58:45 UTC - in response to Message 16148.  

Thanks for your answers. I should have been a little more specific, which is in response to the quote: My computer's problem is that, when downloading files, it is far short of 100% of the available bandwidth, which I can check on Task Manager. It's using more like 15%. I've changed my prefs to have the maximum be the speed of my modem, but maybe I need it to by higher to trick BOINC into actually using more? I've tried different numbers in my prefs, but nothing seems to make any difference.

Like most other network apps, BOINC is already trying to use as much as it can.

My modem is at 49Kbps, and the BOINC file rate is totalling about 5-6Kbps at any given time (obviously less if I'm also doing web surfing), but that's as high as it gets.

That might be a measuring unit misunderstanding. Dialup modems are always at most 56kbps (kilobits; lowercase 'b' on the abbreviation). This is equivalent to 7KB/s (kilobytes, uppercase 'B'). I'm not sure if there is any standard on uppercase/lowercase 'k', but it doesn't usually matter. BOINC (and most other programs that do network activity) show speed in kilobytes.

Telephone line noise makes it impossible to actually reach that number. Back when I had dialup, 5KB/s is the maximum I ever reached.

EDIT: now I have 600kbps cablemodem, which is theoretically equivalent to 75KB/s, but I usually reach no more than 72KB/s.

Dialup modems have one start bit, 8 data bits, and one stop bit per byte for a total of 10 bits per byte (some of the really old ones had 1.5 or 2 stop bits - at 300 bps or slower). So your 56Kbps modem should only do 5.6kBps at maximum speed. Most places you are lucky to get 49kbps, and more likely to get 44kbps.

I am not quite certain how DLS modems work on bit count.

BOINC WIKI
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Nicolas

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Message 16256 - Posted: 1 Apr 2008, 0:04:20 UTC - in response to Message 16255.  

Dialup modems have one start bit, 8 data bits, and one stop bit per byte for a total of 10 bits per byte (some of the really old ones had 1.5 or 2 stop bits - at 300 bps or slower). So your 56Kbps modem should only do 5.6kBps at maximum speed. Most places you are lucky to get 49kbps, and more likely to get 44kbps.

I am not quite certain how DLS modems work on bit count.

And apparently it's not even 56kbps for real, it's just a marketing term that includes the potentially-saved bandwidth from hardware compression.

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John McLeod VII
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Message 16259 - Posted: 1 Apr 2008, 0:39:47 UTC - in response to Message 16256.  

Dialup modems have one start bit, 8 data bits, and one stop bit per byte for a total of 10 bits per byte (some of the really old ones had 1.5 or 2 stop bits - at 300 bps or slower). So your 56Kbps modem should only do 5.6kBps at maximum speed. Most places you are lucky to get 49kbps, and more likely to get 44kbps.

I am not quite certain how DLS modems work on bit count.

And apparently it's not even 56kbps for real, it's just a marketing term that includes the potentially-saved bandwidth from hardware compression.

The modems can do 56kbps for real - with a perfect telephone line that has the correct equipment installed on it end to end. This essentially never happens - typically you get 49K if you are lucky and worse if you aren't. (Just be glad that it isn't as bad as the connection I once had to use - I had to connect to the 75bps modem to get any connection at all).

BOINC WIKI
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Heidi1
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Message 16320 - Posted: 1 Apr 2008, 20:43:31 UTC

Yes, one computer (DSL) is at work and the other is at home.

Does anyone know if the following can happen successfully: I download WUs from Rosetta on my work machine, cut/copy those files to my home machine, and have the home machine crunch and upload? There is one problem I can see with this: Rosetta has those WUs assigned to the work machine, but yet it's the home machine that is reporting the results, which can screw up the server's database. Obviously, in downloading the files, I would need to make sure I get ALL the files copied, incl. those that are 100 bytes.

Any thoughts?
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Nicolas

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Message 16325 - Posted: 1 Apr 2008, 21:13:45 UTC - in response to Message 16320.  

Does anyone know if the following can happen successfully: I download WUs from Rosetta on my work machine, cut/copy those files to my home machine, and have the home machine crunch and upload? There is one problem I can see with this: Rosetta has those WUs assigned to the work machine, but yet it's the home machine that is reporting the results, which can screw up the server's database. Obviously, in downloading the files, I would need to make sure I get ALL the files copied, incl. those that are 100 bytes.

Copying the files doesn't copy the workunits. There is still a lot of information kept in client_state.xml.

And yes, I think the server knows what host ID has a workunit, and would only let you report it from the same host that downloaded it.
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Heidi1
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Message 16350 - Posted: 2 Apr 2008, 4:13:34 UTC

That's what I thought. It was worth a shot, anyway.
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MikeMarsUK

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Message 16355 - Posted: 2 Apr 2008, 7:25:27 UTC


Rosetta has an option to set the length of their workunits. Effectively this allows you to shrink the bandwidth needed. So if you set the option so that you get 24 hour workunits, you'll only need to download two per day rather than eight per day (assuming you have a dual core).



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Heidi1
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Message 16367 - Posted: 2 Apr 2008, 21:22:10 UTC - in response to Message 16355.  
Last modified: 2 Apr 2008, 21:24:38 UTC


Rosetta has an option to set the length of their workunits. Effectively this allows you to shrink the bandwidth needed. So if you set the option so that you get 24 hour workunits, you'll only need to download two per day rather than eight per day (assuming you have a dual core).




I've been on Rosetta's forums for a while now (since I joined, really), and saw people talking about the length of WUs. After going through my Rosetta prefs and more forums, I finally figured out how to do the quote above. Thanks much! Hopefully this will help.

In terms of using the dialup while wanting to use the phone, I only have a cell phone as my voice communications device. The landline is hooked up to 4 machines that need a dialtone, one of which is the modem on the computer. As all my friends and family have the cell phone #, I'm not worried about being able to be called in case of emergency.

One ringy dingy . . . two ringy dingy . . .
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