Building a beowulf with old computers

Robert Myers rmyers1400 at attbi.com
Sun Mar 9 20:01:18 EST 2003


Robert G. Brown wrote:

>The sad truth is that cluster nodes have an ECONOMICALLY useful lifetime
>of somewhere between 18 months and 3 years, depending on lots of things,
>although one can arguably get work done out to 5 years on nodes that
>require no human time to run or repair that other people are paying to
>feed and cool.
>
>  
>
That makes a strong argument for considering energy consumption when 
building a cluster in the first place.  Lower energy consumption = Lower 
energy cost, longer economically useful life = Lower TCO/year.

Same argument works for server blades, and I'm amazed that energy costs 
don't come up as a consideration more often.

A researcher at LANL has built a cluster based on Transmeta chips called 
Green Destiny, making the energy cost argument, which is documented in

http://public.lanl.gov/feng/Bladed-Beowulf.pdf

He claims a much lower TCO for his Transmeta-based system, but only a 
small part of the claimed savings is electricity costs.

RM

RM


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