cheap clusters

Greg Lindahl lindahl at conservativecomputer.com
Wed Apr 4 20:04:39 EDT 2001


On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 07:25:46PM -0400, Velocet wrote:

> Im lost here. Why are people buying the most expensive single
> nodes for their computations?

Hopefully people are buying what they need to solve their problems.

Sometimes that means you need a relatively expensive interconnect.
That also means that you end up buying a more expensive node.

Sometimes that means you don't have all the space in the world, so
buying 40 cheap machines instead of 10 more expensive ones is a no-no.

> (I remember
> reading the word "cheap" in the Beowulf FAQ somewhere, but it doesnt
> seem to be echoed by many people on the list, except a few who mainly
> stay off the list and talk with me privately - for fear of being
> chastized for the most cycles per dollar??)

Working on a persecution complex?

> There really needs to be a top500 GFLOPS/$ supercluster list. I bet
> the current Top500 would be turned on its head. (even including cost
> of power, a/c, network gear, cabling, cabinets, etc).

That would be just as meaningless as the current top500. Why? Because
our object in life is to get our work done within our constraints, not
to get the highest GFLOPS/$.

-- greg

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