[Beowulf] Thinking about going used

David Mathog mathog at caltech.edu
Thu Feb 11 13:51:24 PST 2010

There are a lot of rack mount servers showing up on ebay and elsewhere
after they come out of service at data centers after a few years.  These
might not cut it for the cutting edge folks, but would be fine for us to
replace our existing (ancient) cluster.

Any suggestions for models to look at for a good price/performance point
for say 2-4 cores in the box, 1 or 2 SATA disks, and at least one
1000baseT interface, and a good reliability history?  (The disks would
probably be bought separately as a lot of these are sold diskless, and
new disks aren't that expensive.)   

For instance, there have recently been a lot of Arima/Rioworks HDAMA
based dual dual core Opteron systems advertised.  Possibly because they
are old enough that nobody wants to buy them ;-).  Those would be fast
enough for us, but the SATA controller seems to be just for RAID usage.
 Might work though if these support "raid 0" on a single disk.


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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