[Beowulf] Node Drop-Off

Joshua Baker-LePain jlb17 at duke.edu
Tue Dec 5 07:03:22 EST 2006


On Mon, 4 Dec 2006 at 7:01pm, Robert G. Brown wrote

> This is really the basic difference between tier 1 and tier 2.  You can
> save short term money with the latter, but have to do things like just
> plain throw out hardware -- after sweating over it for a long time,
> nagging your tier 2 vendor, getting angry, losing a lot of productivity
> and time.  For some projects that works -- for others it doesn't.

I think you're painting with too broad a brush there.  I find the Tier 2 
I buy from to be *far* more helpful and proactive than the dominant Tier 1 
here on campus.  I can relate a number of stories about them finding spare 
parts for systems long out of warranty, upgrading components when it's the 
quicker rather than the cheaper way to fix a problem, replacing shipper
damaged systems within days, etc.  In short, the sort of personal, 
helpful service I've never seen from a Tier 1.  And it's not like I'm a 
major customer, either -- they supply some *big* operations.

Sure, there are many less than good Tier 1s out there, so caveat 
beowulfer.  But you can some who, IMHO, outperform the big boys 
considerably, and not just on price.

-- 
Joshua Baker-LePain
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Duke University
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