Cheap PCs from Wal-Mart

Ken Chase math at
Mon Jun 2 19:55:24 EDT 2003

On Mon, Jun 02, 2003 at 03:48:22PM -0700, Joel Jaeggli's all...
  >On Mon, 2 Jun 2003, Ken Chase wrote:

  >> Since power & cooling is almost always free for .edu's, yes, .edu cluster
  >> design and others' will be extremely different.
  >I'm not entirely clear on the compatibility of the phrase "Since power & 
  >cooling is almost always free for .edu's," and the phrase "massive chiller 
  >upgrade required". clusters especially large ones have real costs 
  >associated with power, space, and cooling that can't been hidden in your 
  >general budget...

I was generalizing a bit too harshly, but two of the designs we've shipped
out to universities were free from any considerations of power, cooling
or total cost of operation. :) Kinda nice to be free of the more difficult
aspects of design!

However, other designs of clusters and similar systems (server farms)
are pathologically encumbered with such considerations to the point that
they're they major concern.

Both situations give rise to radically different designs, and whoever was
questioning the use of the Eden must not have encountered these requirements.


  >> Not to mention that .edu's cant stand losing nodes in a throwaway 
  >> design that accomodates tolerable rates of failure. (Anyone operating
  >> a cluster in this mode? Im very curious as to how you surmounted the
  >> psychological objections to it!)
  >> When you say 'TCO' you REALLY have to define what you mean -- "total cost
  >> of OWNERSHIP" or "total cost of OPERATION"? You can own a really nice
  >> cluster for $x if you dont have to cut $x into slices to buy it
  >> AND pay for running power and cooling for it for n years.
  >> Anyone admit to being in the 'must pay for power and other operationals'
  >> camp and want to explain how their designs differ? (especially those
  >> that pay a premium for floor space - these edens start winning on two
  >> fronts. Low heat = low space requirements.)
  >> I suspect EDENs will be viable for people in the expensive power & floorspace
  >> areas (Bay area, etc?)
  >> /kc
  >Joel Jaeggli	      Academic User Services   joelja at    
  >--    PGP Key Fingerprint: 1DE9 8FCA 51FB 4195 B42A 9C32 A30D 121E      --
  >  In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last
  >  resort of the scoundrel.  With all due respect to an enlightened but
  >  inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
  >	   	            -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"

Ken Chase, math at  *  Velocet Communications Inc.  *  Toronto, Canada
Wiznet Velocet Datavaults  24/7: 416-967-4414  tollfree: 1-866-353-0363

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