[Beowulf] Re: The Walmart Compute Node?

Tim Cutts tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Sun Nov 11 05:36:36 EST 2007

On 10 Nov 2007, at 4:23 am, Mark Hahn wrote:

> we live in different worlds.  we support spikes in demand by  
> interleaving
> them in a large enough pool of resources.  sure, there's no  
> guarantee that spikes won't conflict.  do you really have users who  
> are willing to pay for a whole cluster and only use it for a 5%  
> spike of the time?


>> while it is sitting idle you'd naturally like it to burn as little  
>> power
> uh, you have idle clusters!?!  to me, that means you don't have a  
> large
> enough or perhaps diverse-enough user community.

That used to be true of us - the cluster was basically used for one  
thing (calculating the contents www.ensembl.org) which resulted in  
monthly spikes in usage.  These days, we're rather more diverse and  
the use is more continuous.  Ensembl still causes bi-monthly load  
spikes though (the data release cycle has doubled in length recently)

> eh?  strip out the crap fans and stick in one larger decent one.

I don't think that necessarily makes them quieter.  Have you heard  
what an IBM BladeCenter 2's two fans sound like?  It's like standing  
behind a jet engine.


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