Folding@home – How you can help.

One thing I have learned over the past few years is that I really enjoy helping people out. With the current world events and everything I normally do in my day to day life (coaching soccer, volunteering at the children’s school, etc) canceled for the foreseeable future, it was nice to see that I have another way. Enter – Folding@home.

My wife was ecstatic when I told her that I was going to run upstairs and start folding. She was less enthused when she found out it was not going to be clothing.

Twitter has been blowing up the past few days about Folding@home, so I did some research and determined I can help! At a minimum, I knew I could use my VMware based homelab to throw cycles at the cause. I also reached out to the owner of my company, Belay Technologies, to see if we could use idle equipment in our lab. Sure enough, the answer was yes!

One thing I love about Belay Technologies is that we are always looking for ways to help.

Okay, Okay…  You may be wondering what Folding@home is. The answer is that it’s a distributed computing solution that is looking to solve scientific problems. It’s nerd stuff!

folding

Need more information on Folding@home, Check out their website. Review their FAQ.

What’s been the buzz on Twitter? Well, VMware decided to create a fling to make an appliance that is easy to deploy into vSphere and run Folding@home. Since it was VMware, I had to try it right?

Check out their blog post from the Office of the CTO.

It didn’t take long to get started.

  1. Visit the Fling Site and download the OVA.
  2. Review the PowerCLI script (cringe a little, it needs some TLC).
  3. Modify the PowerCLI script to work in my environment. 🙂
  4. Deploy the OVA to my homelab.
  5. Create a team for Belay Technologies.
  6. Deploy the OVA to the Belay Lab.

And now we are helping to save the world, without leaving the office.

folding01

Here is a quick snippet on how it works from the Folding@home website.

foldingworks

  • Team Numbers (To view stats)
    • VMware – 52737
    • BelayTech – 246789

Hopefully, you will take some time to consider helping the cause by donating your unused CPU cycles.

READ THIS!

Before loading software on your personal computer, please consider the security implications. I do not recommend running this software on a computer that stores your personal information. Additionally do not run this on your work computer without your employer’s written consent. The program is designed to consume nearly 100 percent of your available CPU cycles.

Thank you to all of the folks over at VMware that have made the deployment of the Appliance to easy. It was a great idea and even better execution!

Side note; In my homelab, I needed to have the vCenter running in order to deploy the appliance. Once it was deployed I powered the vCenter off to give the full CPU availability to the appliance (my environment is running on an Intel NUC).

Happy Folding!

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