[Beowulf] MS Cray

Andrew M.A. Cater amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk
Wed Sep 17 23:23:35 PDT 2008

On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 11:54:35AM -0400, Joe Landman wrote:
>> A few questions (not necessarily expecting a response):
>> Kernel latency and scheduler control?
> Don't mistake me for a w2k8 apologist.  I reamed them pretty hard on the  
> lack of a real posix infrastructure (they claim SUA, but frankly it  
> doesn't build most of what we throw at it, so it really is a non-starter  
> and not worth considering IMO).  They need to pull Cygwin in close and  
> tight to get a good POSIX infrastructure.  It is in their best  
> interests.  Sadly, I suspect the ego driven nature of this will pretty  
> much prevent them from doing this.  Can't touch the "toxic" OSS now, can  
> they ...
It helps when you have a 14 year Linux memory :) A very small company in 
UK called Lasermoon run, seemingly, by about 2 people - selling CDs of 
Slackware and Linux-FT (which was amazing but too far ahead of its 

Ian Nandhra - got the then Linux kernel POSIX certified - which is why 
you still see that sometimes on boot-up - ripped the heart out of it and 
built utilities with it for Windows. Called it OpenNT (for about a 
month, until lawyers got involved.) Changed name to Interix - which was 
then bought by Microsoft a few years later and became SFU. The POSIX 
layer was grafted into Windows NT. Ian, I think, is somewhere in the US 
at a skunkworks but seems to have kept a very low profile/dropped off 
the 'Net.

>> I just rebuilt a 32 core cluster for ~5k$ (CAD) (8*Q6600 1Gig RAM/node 
>> + gige netwroking). Bang for the buck? I can't wait to see the CX1's  
>> performance specs under _both_ windows and Linux.
> The desktop CPUs/MBs will get you best bang per buck, as long as you  
> don't mind no ECC, and 8GB ram limits per node.  For your applications,  
> this might be fine.  For others, with large memory footprint and long  
> run times, I see people need/require ECC (as memory density increases,  
> ECC becomes important .... darned cosmic rays/natural decays/noisy power  
> supplies/...)

Cost of a decent motherboard these days with dual core/ dual processors? 
I may have to replace a very early Tyan with dual Opterons at 1.6G but 
have case/disks/reasonable PSU. Damn thing keeps throwing kernel panics and 
being temperature sensitive - but it's been my literal under office desk 
"supercomputer" for about three years and, because it has wheels, 
follows me from desk to desk. 

Deskside socket is 230V at 5A and the office has standard aircon: 12 x 
Intel 330 dual core Atoms in a lunchbox, anyone?


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