[Beowulf] A couple of interesting comments

John Hearns john.hearns at streamline-computing.com
Fri Jun 6 09:55:05 PDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-06-06 at 10:39 -0500, Gerry Creager wrote:
> W
> Also, I'm now told that "almost every customer" ordered their cluster 
> configuration service at several kilobucks per rack.  Since the team I'm 
> working with has some degree of experience in configuring and installing 
> hardware and software on computational clusters, now measured in at 
> least 10 separate cluster installations, this seemed like an unnecessary 
> expense.  However, we're finding vendor gotchas that are annoying at the 
> least, and sometimes cause significant work-around time/effort.

Somebody has to pay for all those technicians to set you BIOSes.

Seriously, we almost always do turn-key clusters for customers.

We do what we term as "hardware only" deals - but you wouldn't recognise
them as such. The project I'm thinking on consisted of supplying many
Intel twin servers, and us setting those BIOSes prior to delivery,
racking, labelling and cabling all servers and switches. Providing a
loan cluster head node and installing our cluster distribution on there
for a week long soak test prior to the customer accepting it and  then
reinstalling with their own OS.
Quite, quite far from leaving a pile of boxes on the loading dock.

I don't want to go into this one too deeply, but when we do true
hardware-only deals (I'm thinking more of network switches here) you end
up supporting things out of goodwill anyway.

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