[Beowulf] MS Cray

Lux, James P james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Sep 16 18:07:47 EDT 2008




James Lux, P.E.
Task Manager, SOMD Software Defined Radios
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive, Mail Stop 161-213
Pasadena, CA, 91109
+1(818)354-2075 phone
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-----Original Message-----
From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Prentice Bisbal
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 1:36 PM
Cc: Beowulf
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] MS Cray

Gus Correa wrote:
> Dear Beowulf and COTS fans
>
> For those of you who haven't read the news today:
>
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/16/cray_baby_super/
>
> IGIDH (I guess it doesn't help.)
>
> Gus Correa
>

Quote from article:

"It's also attempting to lure scientists and researchers with discretionary IT budgets to forget using shared, giant clusters and get their own box and tuck it in behind their desk where no one can see it to run their workloads locally. The personal supercomputer is not a new idea, but this is the first time that Cray is trying it out in the market."

That will work great until the newbie scientists find that airflow into a computer tucked in "behind their desk where no one can see it" is piss poor, and that fans powerful enough to provide adequate airflow "behind the desk where no one can see it" are going to be LOUD.
-------------------

Well, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose..

The same argument was made when the IBM1130 came out, or the IBM 5150, for that matter..

It doesn't have to be loud, and the thermal issue can be dealt with in a variety of ways (some easier and more practical than others)..  I could probably support a kW load in my office without causing huge problems (especially if I leave the lights off), and the amount of computation you can get for a kilowatt is always growing.

There is a huge psychological advantage to having the computer physically under your management and control.  You don't have folks trying to "optimize the use of a valuable institutional resource" with scheduling, etc.  You might be willing to tolerate a factor of 2 hit in performance for the ability to not have to account for anyone else about how much you're using or not using it.

Jim

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