[Beowulf] The True Cost of HPC Cluster Ownership
landman at scalableinformatics.com
Tue Aug 11 12:16:49 EDT 2009
Gerry Creager wrote:
> Daniel Pfenniger wrote:
>> Douglas Eadline wrote:
>> This article sounds unbalanced and self-serving.
> I thought it read a bit like a chronicle of my recent experiences.
I think that this article is fine, not unbalanced. What I like to point
out to customers and partners is
There is a cost to *EVERYTHING*
Heinlein called it TANSTAAFL. Every single decision you make carries
with it a set of costs.
What purchasing agents, looking at the absolute rock bottom prices do
not seem to grasp, is that those costs can *easily* swamp any purported
gains from a lower price, and raise the actual landed price, due to
expending valuable resource time (Gerry et al) for months on end working
to solve problems that *should* have been solved previously.
There is a cost to going cheap. This cost is time, and loss of
productivity. If your time (your students time) is free, and you don't
need to pay for consequences (loss of grants, loss of revenue, loss of
productivity, ...) in delayed delivery of results from computing or
storage systems, then, by all means, roll these things yourself, and
deal with the myriad of debugging issues in making the complex beasts
actually work. You have hardware stack issues, software stack issues,
interaction issues, ...
What I am saying is that Doug is onto something here. It ain't easy.
Doug simply expressed that it isn't.
As for the article being self serving? I dunno, I don't think so. Doug
runs a consultancy called Basement Supercomputing that provides services
for such folks. I didn't see overt advertisements, or even, really,
covert "hire us" messages. I think this was fine as a white paper, and
Doug did note that it started life as one.
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics Inc.
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
fax : +1 866 888 3112
cell : +1 734 612 4615
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