Need: Switch Recommendations ( > 150 ports)

Dean Johnson dtj at
Sat Oct 19 09:52:18 PDT 2002

On Sat, 2002-10-19 at 02:48, Shanwu Wang wrote:
> We are going to purchase 150xsingle-P4 desktop, cause it is cheaper than
> 75xdual-P4 servers.  Comments are also highly appreciated, :).

You also have to consider the indirect costs of your approach, which are
sometimes not so terribly obvious. The big one for me has always been
space. I believe that "damn! we just have too much space" has never been
uttered by a cluster geek. Even if you have enough room, I am enough of
an optimistic/forward thinker to hope we get many more machines later. I
go by the "plan for double" method because you will quite often wish you
had. Think back to when you wondered if you would EVER use up the whole
20MB harddrive. ;-) Buying 150 singles over 75 duals will take up nearly
twice the space. 

A more indirect and real money issue, is switch ports. You will have to
buy twice as many and especially at that level the price difference can
be quite dramatic. Be sure to add the price per seat for the networking
to each of the 75 extra machines to find out its true cost. Even using
cheap gigabit NICs and switches, that adds like $150 each.

There are a myriad of other items that add to the cost of having double
the amount of machines, be sure to figure them in, as best you can.

Of course, you mileage WILL vary.


More information about the Beowulf mailing list