[Beowulf] Win64 Clusters!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue Apr 3 09:00:36 PDT 2007

On Tue, 3 Apr 2007, Toon Knapen wrote:

> Robert G. Brown wrote:
>> It isn't completely crazy that the US government would intervene here if
>> they broke MPI portability.  After all, MPI exists at all primarily
>> because of direct government intervention (unlike PVM, which exists
>> because some Very Bright People conceived it and invented it and made it
>> fly).
> It's not up to the government to decide if MS can put some product on the 
> market or not. They can indeed refuse to finance porting code to CCS because 
> of its incompatibilities.

The way they intervened in the case of MPI (IIRC) is they said something
like "we will not buy supercomputers from any vendor that does not also
provide a portable message passing environment".  At the time, they were
"the" market for supercomputers -- at least a sine qua non of survival
(given that supercomputers were munitions and controlled).  So the
vendors of hardware and a team of academic and lab types wrote up MPI
and made sure MPI would run reasonably portably across all their big
iron hardware.

In the current case if the government says "we will not fund any cluster
and research software development that uses non-portable constructs in
their MPI implementation" I think that it would have the same effect.


> toon

Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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