[Beowulf] how Google warps your brain

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Thu Oct 21 14:38:21 EDT 2010


On Thu, 21 Oct 2010, Mark Hahn wrote:

>> The real beauty of clusters (to me) has always been at least partly the
>> fact that you could build YOURSELF a cluster, just for your own
>> research, without having to have major leadership, infrastructure,
>> space, or other resources.
>
> sure, but the question is: under what circumstances would you want to?
> doing beowulf is indeed easy, and for certain scales and cost structures,
> cheap.  if you have a fairly constant personal demand for resources
> (always have 80-100 cores busy), then doing it yourself may still make sense.
> but the impetus towards centralization is sharing: if your usage is bursty,
> having your own cluster would result in low utilization.  and if the same 
> funding went towards a large, shared facility, your bursts could be higher.
>
> of course, there's still the issue of autonomy - you control your own
> cluster.  but in a sense, that's really just reflecting (un)responsiveness
> on the part of whoever manages the shared resource...
>
> I'm pretty convinced that, ignoring granularity or political issues, shared 
> resources save a lot in leadership, infrastructure, space, etc.

No real argument -- I just was pointing out the irony...;-)

    rgb

Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu


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