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Major Features

Parallel OperatiOn and Control Heuristic Application
Version 1.7.6

Pooch provides a Macintosh user interface for distributing and initiating a numerically-intensive parallel application on a networked cluster of Macintoshes.  It coordinates the distribution of data, acts out commands from other Pooches, and provides a user interface to start and monitor parallel computing jobs.

Pooch technology allows the user to combine supercomputing-level features with an easy-to-use, modern user interface, a combination unmatched by any other cluster solution.

Its unique technology design allows it to be flexible enough to operate in a wide variety of network environments and cluster configurations and while supporting the largest number of programming environments. It has supported the industry-standard Message-Passing Interface since day one, making it easy to write portable supercomputing code on a Mac cluster. At the same time it supports grid- and distributed-computing models.

What is Pooch?
What's New
Mac Cluster Recipe
Cluster Deployments
Parallel Applications
Pooch Users
Download Pooch
Purchase Pooch
Screen Shots
Command-Line Interface
Web Interface
MPI (Message-Passing Interface)
Grid & Distributed
Parallel Computing Tutorials
Pooch SDK for HPC
Pooch Documentation
Pooch FAQ

Ease of Use
Flexibility and Efficiency
Advanced Technology
Performance and Scalability

  • Installs on a node in seconds!

  • Employs easy-to-use Macintosh graphical user interface, including drag-and-drop!

  • Utilizes the "brushed metal" look available in OS X 10.3 and later.

  • Requires a minimum of system configuration - similar to a web browser

  • Clusters virtually any combination of Intel or PowerPC Macintoshes running OS 9 or OS X

    - demonstrated robustness (other clustering solutions have been known to break due to inconsistencies in the kernel version)

  • Supports automated, "Computational Grid"-like cluster access for mainstream applications

    - For examples, see the Power Fractal app and the Fresnel Diffraction Explorer.

  • The Job Window provides access to two drawers for commonly used functions:

    - the Recent Items drawer displays and recalls recently used app, files, nodes, and nodes of the remote node scan cache

    - the Options drawer accesses all the options of the job

  • Includes a new Dashboard widget to monitor cluster and job activity

  • Easily coexists with other applications, such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Office

  • Does not depend on File Sharing, Network File System (NFS), rsh, static host files, mpirun, etc.

  • Does not require modifications to the hardware or the operating system

  • Is so easy that a sixth-grader has built a Mac cluster

See the Recipe for yourself!


Ease of Use
Flexibility and Efficiency
Advanced Technology
Performance and Scalability

  • Dynamically discovers resources on any TCP/IP network (10BaseT, 100BaseT, Gigabit, Airport, or combinations)

  • Actively queries nodes for current status and other time-dependent attributes

  • Determines the capability and capacities of compute nodes on demand

  • Recognizes and utilizes multiprocessor Macs and OS X multitasking for cluster computing by automatically launching multiple tasks on multiprocessor machines (running OS X 10.2.1 or later):

    - Parallel applications can use one API to mix parallel computing both inside a box and across boxes

  • The Network Scan Window views the cluster in three alternative views:

    - a Node View for adding news to a job and to display diagnostics about nodes of the cluster

    - a Job View to scan the entire network for queued, launching, running, terminated, and aborted jobs and display statistics about these jobs

    - a Network View to scan multiple networks simultaneously

  • Utilizes after-hours computing and unutilized machines

  • Supports five different user interfaces:

  • Supports customized job queuing using AppleScript, Automator, or via Unix command line

  • Schedules node registration and deregistration

  • Supports seven different implementations of the Message-Passing Interface API:
    • MacMPI_X - UCLA AppleSeed
    • mpich - Argonne National Laboratory
    • MPI-Pro - MPI Software Technology, Inc.
    • mpich-gm - for Myrinet hardware from Myricom, Inc.
    • LAM/MPI - Pervasive Computing Labs, Indiana University
    • MPJ Express - University of Reading and partners (New in 1.7.5)
    • Open MPI - Open System Laboratory, Indiana University, and collaborators (New in 1.7.6)

  • Launches seven application types (see the SDK):
      On OS 9:
    • Classic applications
    • Carbon applications

      On OS X:
    • Carbon applications
    • Universal applications (New in 1.7)
    • Cocoa bundle-based applications
    • Mach-O executables (in the background or in the Terminal)
    • Unix shell scripts (in the background or in the Terminal)
    • AppleScript applications
    • Java .jar and .class executables


Ease of Use
Flexibility and Efficiency
Advanced Technology
Performance and Scalability

  • Includes patent-pending technologies!

  • An advanced queuing and scheduling system for retaining jobs until specific conditions are met integrated with:

  • A job tracking system designed to monitor the progress and execution of jobs and retain statistics and other historical data about terminated jobs

  • Secure resource management, via a modern graphical user interface, by users and groups, regulating CPU time quotas, job duration limits, and even rollover minutes! (Pooch Pro)

  • Rates nodes to support "Computational Grid"-like features such as the ability to choose the "best" nodes automatically

  • In its "Automatically Acquire Nodes" feature, jobs utilize Pooch's heuristic algorithms to automatically acquire a specified number of nodes or processors in a cluster

  • Searches for and combines resources over the Internet

    - nodes in Munich, Germany, have been combined with nodes 6000 miles away at UCLA

  • Discovers using Bonjour (a. k. a. ZeroConf) and Service Location Protocol (SLP) simultaneously

  • Securely sends internode commands using 512-bit rotating encryption

  • Recognizes and preserves Unix-style file privileges

  • Copies entire folder structures

  • Monitors currently running processes and jobs

  • Kills remote processes and jobs

  • Runs on nodes while they are logged out! (OS X only)


Ease of Use
Flexibility and Efficiency
Advanced Technology
Performance and Scalability

* using Pooch and AltiVec Fractal Carbon


System Requirements: (back to "What is Pooch?")

Power Macintoshes connected using a TCP/IP network (100BaseT, 10BaseT, Gigabit, Airport, etc.) running Mac OS 9 and CarbonLib 1.2 or later. Pooch on OS X 10.2.1 and later is fully supported.

For documention, including a one-page Pooch Quick Start, see the Manual Page.

You can try out Pooch for yourself starting at the Download Page.

You can also get started at the Mac Cluster Recipe.

© Copyright 2001-2012 Dauger Research, Inc. All rights reserved. PO Box 3074, Huntington Beach, CA 92605 USA