[Beowulf] $1, 279-per-hour, 30, 000-core cluster built on Amazon EC2 cloud

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Tue Oct 4 16:52:13 EDT 2011


On Tue, Oct 04, 2011 at 03:29:28PM -0400, Chris Dagdigian wrote:

> I'm largely with RGB on this one with the minor caveat that I think he 
> might be undervaluing the insane economies of scale that IaaS providers 
> like Amazon & Google can provide.

You can rent that economy of scale if you're in the right part of the
country. We weren't surprised to recently learn that our Silicon
Valley datacenter rent is much lower than Moscow, but I was surprised
to learn that we pay 1/3 less here than in Vegas, which allegedly has
cheap land and power hence cheap datacenter rents. And with only 750
servers, we are already big enough to reap enough outright economy of
scale to make leasing our own servers in a rented datacenter cheaper
than renting everything from Amazon.

The unique thing Amazon is providing is the ability to grow and shrink
your cluster. Your example of a company which wanted to run a bunch of
molecular dynamics computations in a short period of time is an
illustration of that.

BTW, Amazon has lowered prices since AWS was released, but not by as
much as their costs have fallen. That's no surprise, given their
dominant role in that market.

-- greg
(corporate hat: infrastructure at a search engine)
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