[Beowulf] The True Cost of HPC Cluster Ownership
gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Tue Aug 11 10:00:52 PDT 2009
Joe Landman wrote:
> Gerry Creager wrote:
>> Daniel Pfenniger wrote:
>>> Douglas Eadline wrote:
>>> This article sounds unbalanced and self-serving.
>> I thought it read a bit like a chronicle of my recent experiences.
> I think that this article is fine, not unbalanced. What I like to point
> out to customers and partners is
> There is a cost to *EVERYTHING*
> Heinlein called it TANSTAAFL. Every single decision you make carries
> with it a set of costs.
> What purchasing agents, looking at the absolute rock bottom prices do
> not seem to grasp, is that those costs can *easily* swamp any purported
> gains from a lower price, and raise the actual landed price, due to
> expending valuable resource time (Gerry et al) for months on end working
> to solve problems that *should* have been solved previously.
> There is a cost to going cheap. This cost is time, and loss of
> productivity. If your time (your students time) is free, and you don't
> need to pay for consequences (loss of grants, loss of revenue, loss of
> productivity, ...) in delayed delivery of results from computing or
> storage systems, then, by all means, roll these things yourself, and
> deal with the myriad of debugging issues in making the complex beasts
> actually work. You have hardware stack issues, software stack issues,
> interaction issues, ...
> What I am saying is that Doug is onto something here. It ain't easy.
> Doug simply expressed that it isn't.
> As for the article being self serving? I dunno, I don't think so. Doug
> runs a consultancy called Basement Supercomputing that provides services
> for such folks. I didn't see overt advertisements, or even, really,
> covert "hire us" messages. I think this was fine as a white paper, and
> Doug did note that it started life as one.
> My $0.02
Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.862.3983
Office: 1700 Research Parkway Ste 160, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843
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