Wolfram gridMathematica

Q&A about gridMathematica

General | gridMathematica Local | gridMathematica Server | Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager


Q: Will gridMathematica make all my Mathematica programs faster?
No, it will only speed programs written using the parallel functions in the Mathematica language, and only tasks suitable for parallelization. See the tutorial for details. Also, some built-in Mathematica commands will make use of gridMathematica if it is available.
Q: What are the differences between gridMathematica Local and gridMathematica Server?
gridMathematica Local is always attached to an existing single-machine Mathematica license and can be run only on that machine by the user of that license. gridMathematica Server kernels can be run on any available hardware, accessed from any Mathematica license on the network, and be divided among any number of users up to the maximum number of kernels available.
Q: Can Mathematica use gridMathematica Server and gridMathematica Local at the same time?
Yes. A Mathematica parallel program will simultaneously distribute tasks seamlessly across all available local and remote computation kernels, including any computation kernels from gridMathematica Local and gridMathematica Server.
Q: Can I do parallel computations without gridMathematica?
Yes. Since Mathematica 7, every Mathematica license includes all of the parallel programming tools, one controlling kernel, and four computation kernels. This configuration is optimized for writing parallel computations to run on standard quad-core machines. gridMathematica scales such programs up to larger hardware.
Q: Do I need Parallel Computing Toolkit?
No. The parallel programming tools contained in Mathematica supercede Parallel Computing Toolkit, which has been discontinued.
Q: How is gridMathematica priced?
gridMathematica pricing is handled on a case-by-case basis depending on your needs. Please contact sales to receive a personalized price quote.

gridMathematica Local

Q: Can I add more than four gridMathematica Local computation kernels to my Mathematica license?
Yes, you can add as many as you want. gridMathematica Local is available in increments of four computation kernels, with no upper limit.
Q: What is the optimal number of computation kernels for my hardware?
This depends on the details of your programs, but a rough guide would be to have one computation kernel for each available CPU core.
Q: Can other people use my computation kernels from their Mathematica programs?
No. Your single-machine license, and any gridMathematica Local added to it, must either be used directly at the computer it is installed on or remotely by you, the registered user.
Q: Can I add gridMathematica Local to a network license of Mathematica?
No, gridMathematica Local is only available for single-machine Mathematica licenses.

gridMathematica Server

Q: Do I still need Mathematica if I have gridMathematica Server?
Yes. gridMathematica Server computation kernels are controlled by a Mathematica controlling kernel. Every user of gridMathematica must have access to a Mathematica license to be able to submit tasks.
Q: Can I access gridMathematica Server from a single-machine license of Mathematica?
Yes, both single-machine and network licenses of Mathematica can send computations to gridMathematica Server.
Q: Can other people use my gridMathematica Server?
Yes, if you want. Each gridMathematica Server computation kernel can be acquired by a different user. This allows up to 16 people to benefit from each gridMathematica license at the same time. Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager makes this easy and lets you control access.
Q: Do controlling and computation machines need to share a common filesystem?
No. The Mathematica parallel programming tools can send any kind of data, including the program to be executed, over the connection between the controlling and computation kernels. There is no need to copy data or the distributed program onto the filesystem of the computation machine.
Q: Can I control which computers the computation kernels run on?
Yes. As long as you have the means and privileges to launch Mathematica on those machines (e.g. having Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager installed), you can configure how many kernels to run on which machines. Even if you have no access to remote machines, you can acquire kernels from gridMathematica Server to run on your local machine.
Q: What grid-management systems does gridMathematica Server support?
gridMathematica Server supports Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager, Altair PBS Professional, Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server, Microsoft HPC Server, Platform LSF, and Sun Grid Engine. See also the supported platforms page.
Q: How do I set up gridMathematica Server?
Explicit instructions, additional guidance, and screencasts are available here.

Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager

Q: Can Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager control a group of separate computers?
Yes, but Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager must be installed on every computer in the group.
Q: Can I control who has access to each machine?
Yes, you can control which IP addresses or ranges can launch kernels via Lightweight Grid Manager. Other grid-management systems may provide other options.
Q: Can I control the machines' workload?
Yes, you can specify a maximum number of computation kernels that can run on each machine.
Q: Do I have to use Lightweight Grid Manager?
No. If you are running a supported grid-management system, you may use that instead of Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager. Even if you do not, you can set up your own solution for remotely launching and connecting to Mathematica kernels.
Q: Are there security considerations for running Lightweight Grid Manager?
Yes. Lightweight Grid Manager allows users to run any Mathematica code on your computer. Mathematica can read, write, and delete files and can run other programs. You should consider who to allow to do this and what access privileges to give them. Wolfram Lightweight Grid Manager configuration control is password protected.