[Beowulf] SGI and Sun: In Memoriam

Jan Heichler jan.heichler at gmx.net
Thu Apr 2 05:39:25 PDT 2009

Hallo Geoff,

Donnerstag, 2. April 2009, meintest Du:

>>  Also it's not like big discounts don't exist in the corporate world.
>>  Back when I worked for $multinational our group rates with Dell were
>>  astonishingly cheap.

GG> There was one university I worked for that Dell sold a medium-sized (approx
GG> 100 nodes) cluster complete with  myrinet networking for a loss just to get
GG> the bragging rights (for promotional purposes, of course).

Probably your Dell sales guy told you "we made a loss" - but what he meant is "i made negative margin". This in fact doesn't mean that Dell as a company is making a loss. Probably there aren't many people within Dell who can get to the numbers if (or at what price level) Dell is making a loss. 

That is very complex as it has to do with factories working under 100% load, discounts on quantities of parts, shipping costs that you can combine...etc. 

And often you know about a loss after you did a deal... not before ;-)

For small companies it is pretty simple: 0% margin means 0% profit - if you do a lot of those deals you go bankrupt. ;-)

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