staff blogs

distributed.net staff keep (relatively) up-to-date logs of their activities in .plan files. These were traditionally available via finger, but we've put them on the web for easier consumption.

2010/12/29

Wrapping up 2010

Filed under: project status @ 00:34 UTC

Dear friends,

With 2010 coming to an end, we thought this would be a good time to review the tremendous progress we’ve made this year, particularly on the RC5-72 front.

Modern video cards now typically include highly advanced parallel processors that can sometimes be used for general purpose computing. Although only certain types of tasks are currently suitable for GPU acceleration, we’ve found that RC5 falls happily in that category.

We began beta testing our first GPU-based clients for nVidia CUDA and ATI Stream in January and February 2009, respectively. Public testing of the GPU clients continued for about a year until we officially released both the CUDA and Stream clients in January 2010.

Adoption of the new GPU clients has been very successful throughout 2010, due in part to the folks at DNETC@Home. At this moment, about 86% of our incoming completed RC5-72 results come from Stream clients, 5% from CUDA, and 7% from traditional x86 processors.[1] Another exciting milestone is that the overall total results ever received for the RC5-72 project, results from Stream/Win32 are extremely close to surpassing those received from X86/Win32, despite the nearly 7 year lead before the official release of GPU clients.[2]

RC5-72 keyrate for 2009-2010

At the end of 2009, our overall RC5-72 project keyrate was about 250 GKeys/sec. Our current project rate is now about 1.5 TKeys/sec, or about 6 times faster than last year!

If we started RC5-56 right now (which took us 250 days in 1997), and found the key in the same place as last time, it would take us about 18 hours to complete. If we had to check the entire keyspace… it would be a little longer–perhaps 38 hours!

In the coming year, we hope to announce some other exciting developments which should continue to push the performance and awareness of distributed computing.

If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow us on @dnetc!

Happy Moo Year! ]:8)

2010/12/12

website backend upgraded

Filed under: Uncategorized @ 19:23 UTC

The mediawiki backend on www.distributed.net has been upgraded to the latest version. Let us know if you see any breakage.

2010/11/27

new stats servers now online

Filed under: stats @ 00:18 UTC

After several weeks of anticipation, we’ve finished deploying our new stats servers and have fully transferred operations to them.   The two new machines (standard and deviation) should be able to provide us with sufficient capacity and reliability for the foreseeable future.  You can check out a picture of standard and deviation in our photo gallery.  Full hardware specs on our current and past servers are also listed on the statsbox FAQ page.  Our old server, fritz, has been physically relocated offsite and  is awaiting a disk wipe before we decide its final fate.

Stats should again be available at http://stats.distributed.net/ No loss of data occurred during this server transition.

We’d also like to thank Midas Networks in Austin, Texas for continuing to provide excellent hosting services to us.

Thanks for your attention! ]:8)

2010/11/26

stats server down for upgrade

Filed under: stats @ 17:04 UTC

We’ve taken our stats server temporarily offline while we do the final cut-over to our new server hardware.  If all goes well, the upgrade should be complete in time for today’s statsrun.

2010/11/17

rc5-72 workunit distribution restored

Filed under: keyservers @ 21:03 UTC

There was a brief interruption in the distribution of RC5-72 workunits earlier today, however the problem has been fixed and clients should be again receiving workunits.  OGR-27 was completely unaffected during this time.  Additionally, RC5-72 results continued to be accepted without interruption.

The problem was caused by our migration to some new webserver hardware (unrelated to the new stats servers), which disrupted some of our alert monitoring systems.

Keep on crunching! ]:8)

2010/10/09

Stats now read-only for a few days

Filed under: stats @ 19:44 UTC

We’ve temporarily put our stats server into “read-only” mode, which means that you’ll be able to view your current stats (and they will continue to be updated daily) but you won’t be able to make any changes to your user account or team.  As usual, no client work will be affected during this period.

This is being done to prepare for switchover to new hardware that will replace our aging stats server some time next week.  Read-only mode allows us to make and restore database backups without losing any user-made edits.  We’ll make another announcement once the new hardware is fully deployed.

If you’re curious, some details about the new stats hardware are listed on our FAQ page.

Moo! ]:8)

2010/09/21

Stats interruption due to overflow

Filed under: stats @ 04:54 UTC

It seems that we’ve encountered an unexpected milestone in the our RC5-72 project’s status!  Last night’s stats processing hit a data overflow error in one of the team database columns.

We will be making some schema changes to one of the backend team tables and hope to have stats processing back online later today.  Once we’re done, stats should again properly reflect all received results.

Keep on crunching!  ]:8)

2010/08/14

Stats back

Filed under: stats @ 18:08 UTC

Stats server is back online and fully caught up after the outage.  We’re still running on reduced redundancy on the power supplies, however.

It is probably time to consider a complete replacement of this machine, since it has been running for more than six years (April 2004).  It has also recently been suffering from regular failures on one of its RAID controller ports, regardless of the drive connected to it.

As a reference, the current stats hardware is described at the top of http://faq.distributed.net/?file=63

We’ll be investigating our resources and options over the next few days and hopefully be able to begin the replacement process soon.

Thanks for your support!

2010/08/03

Stats down again

Filed under: stats @ 22:22 UTC

One of the three power supplies in our stats server has failed again, causing it to be unstable while operating on the remaining units.  We’re in the process of trying to get the failed unit replaced, but it may take a few days.

Until then, all results sent by dnetc clients will be saved by our keyservers and will be reflected once the stats server is brought back online.  Thanks for your support!

2010/07/27

Stats back online

Filed under: stats @ 20:24 UTC

The Stats server is now back online and has caught up on processing.  It just needed a power-cycling.

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