Total Cost of Ownership and porting (was FW: Can we have a moment of silence (or several million dollars) . . . please?)

Greg Lindahl lindahl at conservativecomputer.com
Mon Jun 25 22:57:12 EDT 2001


On Mon, Jun 25, 2001 at 07:08:51PM -0700, Schilling, Richard wrote:

> Here's to you Greg . . . with all the ranting aside, how much cost will the
> disappearance of the Alpha and subsequent porting of software add to the
> commodity cluster?

Well, if we take my FSL customer as an example, their software is
quite portable already. They do need a "good" fortran compiler, and on
Alpha that's the Compaq GEM compiler, but the PGI and Intel compilers
are good enough on x86, and the Intel Itanium compiler uses the same
front-end. On the systems side, all of the systems software is
portable; most of the custom stuff is written in perl.

I'm sure there are folks who have some portability problems on 64-bit
platforms -- people who do e-vile things like stick addresse in
Fortran integers. But there are workarounds for that on the Alpha, and
I bet that the same workarounds (linker & os hack) will exist on the
IA-64.

Even if you stay on a x86 32-bit platform, you have the "portability"
problem of > 4gig files, which sometimes makes you have to modify your
code. Even if all the system routines and the Fortran runtime use LFS
calls, you'll still have some places to hack in your C code.

-- g

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