What is OpenMacGrid?

OpenMacGrid is a computing grid built up entirely of Macs, and open to Mac-using scientists everywhere. OpenMacGrid is based on Apple’s Xgrid technology, which comes pre-installed with every copy of Mac OS X 10.4 (and later). OpenMacGrid brings the spare cycles of Mac users together with the computational requirements of Mac researchers.

Projects that harvest the spare cycles of commodity hardware are nothing new. It all began with [email protected], and there are now multitudinous different causes that you can donate your computer’s idle time to, from protein folding to relativistic physics. Noble as these projects are, they all share one limitation: they are closed networks. Each of these grids runs a single application, and access is restricted.

OpenMacGrid is different. Like the other grids, Mac users can donate their idle time to challenging scientific computations, but unlike the other networks, researchers are able to access this resource with their own scientific applications. The programs running on OpenMacGrid vary from day-to-day, reflecting the projects being undertaken by Mac researchers at that point in time. Mac users directly aid scientists in achieving important scientific breakthroughs.

Donate Your Mac’s Spare Cycles

Donating your Mac’s spare cycles in the interests of scientific research requires no more than a few clicks in the Sharing pane of System Preferences. You don’t have to install any new software. You can find the details here.

Monitor OpenMacGrid Activity with Dashboard

Whether you donate cycles to OpenMacGrid or not, you can follow activity on the grid by downloading the OpenMacGrid Dashboard widget. The widget is based on the [email protected] widget created by Mekentosj and Charles Parnot.

Utilize OpenMacGrid in Your Research

If you have a project you would like to run on OpenMacGrid, you can fill out the online access request form. If there is adequate capacity available on OpenMacGrid, and your proposal meets the criteria, you will be allowed to submit jobs to the grid. MacResearch will judge whether projects are suitable for OpenMacGrid based on their system requirements, and other criteria, to prevent overburdening the agent machines that have been donated.