Re: Linux box: reasonable price
From: sinister (sinister_at_nospam.invalid)
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 21:47:55 GMT
"ray" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> On Tue, 28 Jun 2005 20:13:03 +0000, sinister wrote:
>> My workplace currently uses two Solaris boxes (v1280, e4500) to do
>> scientific computation work. (More specifically, functional
>> which can be fairly numerically intensive and also use up lots of disk
>> space---we now have a 16TB RAID array.)
>> Both the sysadmin and I think that, in the long run, Linux is an
>> alternative to Sun.
>> He seems to think that we should first get a Linux box in the $10,000 (US
>> to $15,000 range. I don't see the point of this---for a lot of stuff, I
>> assume a $2000 box should be fine, and it appears to me you can get a
>> nice box for under $4000.
>> Perhaps colloquially he wants something "enterprise quality," and my gut
>> feeling is that for a lot of scientific work, you might want something
>> "workstation quality" but don't need something "enterprise quality."
>> Any comments?
> FWIW: I retired last year after 30 years of doing scientific software
> support and development for DOD - mostly digital signal processing of
> coherent radar signals. About two or three years before I retired, we
> moved from DEC Alphas to Linux - specifically on some DELL dual Xeon
> 1.7ghz machines. The port of the DEC Unix software to Linux was trivial,
> and the performance boost was incredible! I'd suggest going for some boxes
> in the $2k-$4k range - I don't even know how you can make a $10k box
> anymore (without going really high-end). It's also quite easy to cluster
> Linux boxes if your code is highly parallel.
OK---you're affirming my (admittedly much less-well informed) sentiments.
Code isn't parallel; really not even multi-threaded (meaning, the intensive
parts of code are definitely single-threaded). Maybe we don't need a
cluster. I guess what I'm thinking is that many single-CPU systems (or
perhaps dual) would be cheaper than a few systems with many (4+) CPUs. But
that for economies of scale in usage, you wouldn't want users to have to
figure out which host to log into to avoid processing bottlenecks. (And you
wouldn't want to have users have a separate account on each host. Etc.)