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[Condor-users] Condor + VM Whitepaper

Dear Condor Users---

I just discovered Condor and cloud computing.

Here at Brown Econ, we have a lot of computers that are faculty's own desktop machines.  They run Windows.  They are not really under the control of IT, nor are they in a lab where some IT admin can do things to them.  I can get my colleagues to run a standard "setup" program, but not to install linux, configure programs, etc.  If I try for too much, they will just refuse.  They will not want me to install R or Stata or whatever in their usual windows environment.  So, I think I can only work in my own VM on their machine.

Now, it would seem to me that what I need is a SuperCondor program that runs a virtual machine only after hours (6pm to 8am) and when idle.  presumably, the virtual machine would be in a downloadable location on a server, so that I can change it.  on each client, every night, at 6pm, the SuperCondor program first checks whether it has the latest virtual machine (if not replace it), and then run it.  the program would have to shut down at 8am.  with some extra smarts, the SuperCondor program should run one VM per processor core.

the VM itself would then be available to be changed to suit current needs.  It could be linux.  It can run Condor inside.  It can run anything.  Security does not need to be supertight.

I am of course totally clueless.  I would guess that my needs are not very unusual, however.  could someone please point me to a whitepaper that lays out how this can be done relatively painlessly?  A turnkey solution would be perfect, but we shall take whatever we can.  Advice and help appreciated.


/ivo welch
Ivo Welch (ivo.welch@xxxxxxxxx, ivo.welch@xxxxxxxxx)
CV Starr Professor of Economics (Finance), Brown University