[Beowulf] [OT] HPC and University IT - forum/mailing list?

Mike Davis jmdavis1 at vcu.edu
Tue Aug 15 19:13:04 EDT 2006


I'm not 100% sure about that Mark. I care about big-A administration. I 
care about showing departments what resources are actually available. I 
care about what is the most efficient use of limited University 
resources. When I meet with researchers they often say that they had no 
idea that there were 500+ processors dedicated to research here.

I know that other people have the same issues. Another is the funding 
model issue. Which is best overhead, direct, or central budget? Or how 
about knowing what resources we each provide our users. Does a given 
organization focus on hardware support, software support or both?

Those are some of the Big-A issues. Here is one that is both Big-A and 
small-A.

Running one of the new Sun x4100's with both dualcore processors at 100% 
uses <270 watts (as determined by kill-a-watt. That is Big-A because it 
means that we can be more efficient in our use of AC and power. It is 
small-a for the same reasons. For example spinning up a v20 uses 250 
watts for both processors at full power. I can't discuss some of my 
application specific performance due to license constraints, but I can 
say that I like the 4100 in general for Computational Physics and 
Chemistry.

Another that is both is what submission systems we are using and Why?

Same questions, that affect both administration and Administration.


Mike davis






Mark Hahn wrote:
>> beowulf traffic itself is "noise"?  If you are thinking of a "list for
>> university deans" or members of research support offices or departmental
> 
> ...
> 
>> administerable and accountable should they get audited) -- then yeah, I
>> think a new list or other venue would be very useful.
> 
> 
> yes.  the overlap is minimal, I believe - I'd say the two approaches are 
> even inimical.  someone who is primarily interested in big-A 
> Administration will have values opposed to mine as a technologist.
> as a random pot-shot, big-a people tend to have great faith in 
> negotiating special purchasing relationships with a vendor, or believe 
> that integration
> is the high-road to success (or an end in itself).  I know, OTOH,
> that a vendor who makes a good desktop may make the worlds worst compute
> nodes, and that, for instance, the service requirements are nearly 
> opposite.
> 
> here's my general conclusion about central-IT efforts: if the idea 
> (centralized storage, whatever) is so good,
> people will beg to use it.  if you have to force people to use it,
> you are simply wrong in some way (perhaps subtly).
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