[Beowulf] Why I want a Microsoft cluster... redux
James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Jan 4 14:02:46 PST 2006
At 11:22 AM 1/4/2006, Douglas Eadline wrote:
>I enjoyed the discussion brought on by Jim Lux's advocacy about Microsoft
>clusters. However, something about it bothered me. Well, I thought about
>the issue over the holidays and ended up writing about it on Cluster
>"Why Is Cluster HPC So Hard?"
>I'm sure there are other opinions, so read and comment if you so choose.
>You can find it on the main page: http://www.clustermonkey.net
A comment on appliances... Think of a waffle iron or a toaster. It's
purpose designed, and the need doesn't really change. I toast about as
much toast today as I did 10 years ago, and there's not much need to
upgrade my toaster. Likewise, the waffle iron. I just bought a new waffle
iron since the one I got back 15 years ago finally seemed to be dying, but
it was just fine until then.
We might speak of computer based "appliances" (firewalls, network attached
storage, etc.), but realistically, they aren't. The job we ask them to do
is continuously evolving. Would that I could have a web enabled lawn
sprinkler controller that would realistically last 10 years (which is
perfectly reasonable for the existing microcontroller based one that cost
all of $30.), but I think that's unrealistic. Quick.. how many list
members are using old style Ethernet with the thick cable, vampire taps,
and separate AUIs? Or even, RG-58 based coax ethernet? 10 years ago, in
1996, 10Base2 Thinnet was state of the art. My 10 year old toaster still
toasts. My 25+ year old Sony trinitron still works. And, not only do they
still work, but they also still fully meet the needs, which haven't really
advanced all that much. So, unlike a Sony PS/1, or a cluster computer,
they haven't become boat anchors.
Maybe this is what "appliance" really means?
James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
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