[Beowulf] how Google warps your brain

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Thu Oct 21 11:58:20 PDT 2010

On 10/21/2010 02:38 PM, Robert G. Brown wrote:

>> I'm pretty convinced that, ignoring granularity or political issues,
>> shared resources save a lot in leadership, infrastructure, space, etc.
> No real argument -- I just was pointing out the irony...;-)

Didn't have a chance to respond before ...

I think the real major issue compared to the "olden days" is that if 
things work out correctly a) the actual incremental cost of adding HPC 
computing/storage capability is *far* less than it was before, and as 
importantly, b) you are not locked into a vendor or a technology the way 
you used to be in the "bad old days."

The second is said somewhat tongue-in-cheek as the rise of more powerful 
IT groups have sometimes thwarted nascent HPC groups from buying what 
they want/need.  If your university has a purchase agreement with a big 
tier-1 vendor, you fall squarely in this mix.  You can't easily buy what 
you need, but you can easily buy from a particular vendor.  Which might 
serve an administration deploying lots of web servers well, but might 
not be the right approach to building an HPC infrastructure.  It gets 
... erm ... interesting ... when you need to explain the utility of 
infinband, or why stacked switches are a *very bad idea* or why SANs 
aren't what most HPC shops need for fast storage ... list goes on.

But thats a conversation for a different thread.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics Inc.
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
fax  : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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