NOTE: The Condor Service is currently offline while we upgrade to a new web-based version in 2012.
The Condor Project is currently under way within the ECE department. This is an effort to bring the Condor software to NC State. Condor software provides a specialized workload management system for a network of computers, allowing for the unused clock cycles of computers on a network to be exploited.
When a computer goes idle, the Condor software will recognize this and look to its queue to see if there are any jobs waiting to be run. If it finds jobs, they are run, while the computer stays idle. When, however, someone comes to and uses the computer, Condor instructs itself to set a checkpoint and stops processing the data.
Condor provides a job queueing mechanism, scheduling policy, priority scheme, resource monitoring, and resource management. Condor places the jobs submitted by users into a queue, chooses when and where to run the jobs based upon a scheduling policy, carefully monitors their progress, and ultimately informs the user upon completion.
When a user submits a job to Condor, the job is executed on a remote machine within the pool of machines available to Condor. Condor can effectively harness wasted CPU power from otherwise idle desktop workstations. Condor can also transparently produce a checkpoint and migrate a job to a different machine which would otherwise be idle, if the machine it is currently running on becomes busy. Condor does not require a shared file system across machines - if no shared file system is available, Condor can transfer the job's data files on behalf of the user, or Condor may be able to transparently redirect all the job's I/O requests back to the submit machine. As a result, Condor can be used to effectively combine all of an organization's computational power into one resource.
Jobs can easily state both job requirements and job preferences. Likewise, machines can specify requirements and preferences about the jobs they are willing to run. These requirements and preferences can be described easily by users. Condor's "flocking" technology allows multiple Condor pools to work together.
Most versions of Unix are supported, as well as Windows NT/2K/XP.
Condor at NC State is still in developmental stages, with both a Windows and Red Hat Linux solution in place. Documentation will be added here as its developed.