Racks vs. pile of PCs

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Tue Aug 13 23:54:49 EDT 2002


>     would you like to consider *blade server* for your evaluation?
>     http://www.nexcom.com.tw/

aren't those just RLX blades?  but to answer your question: no,
blades are not generally interesting to beowulf people, simply
because they trade too much performance for density.  PIII's 
just don't cut it against K7's and P4's for most (all?) compute
intensive work.  to be honest, I can't really think of an application 
that requires a separate CPU for each node.  even a moderately
heavy-duty machine can maintain "Enterprise" levels of web-hosting,
for instance.  maybe something that's extremely cache-friendly
and not FP-intensive.  but blades really are a heat and/or density sell.

around 1/7 U and 10W per CPU, versus 1/2 U and 50-70W per CPU.
might still be worth it, except that blades simply do not come 
close to $1K/CPU that duals (or small-form-factor unis) do.

personally, I still like the idea of stacking small-for-factor unis
on a wire rack.  we're not taking that approach in our current 
cluster purchase, but that's mainly because I had an attack of 
conservativism ;)

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