[Beowulf] Servers Too Hot? Intel Recommends a Luxurious Oil Bath

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Mon Sep 10 04:44:44 PDT 2012


You are rather naive to believe that public released numbers, other  
than total CPU's sold, will give you ANY data on
what holds the biggest secrets of society. Secrecy is a higher  
priority here than for any
military data.

On military data it's tough to make money, as you risk getting a car  
accident.

With trading secrets you can make BIG CASH and no one shoots you and  
no one ever got convicted for stealing something there AFAIK.

What we DO know is a few hard facts that are not nice to hear.

That is that each year inflation averaged over the past 70 years is  
historically 5%+, and with those populists that call
themselves politicians, all of them overspending, that won't get  
lower coming few years. The average will rise
of course.

If you buy shares apple now. You get 1.7% dividend.

That's LOWER than inflation.

Historic dividend is quite some above 4%. Nearly 5%.
Historic Indexation is another 7%+.

So if you would have invested in DJI, say around 1935 and then in  
2005 looked what you had made,
you would've made an average of nearly 12% a year, dividend and  
indexation added up.

If you do math with other indice, for example AEX of Netherlands, it  
started in 1983, and then calculate to 2005,
you get actually nearly the same percentage of nearly 12%.

Of course had you promised before 9/11 a percentage of 12% as a  
quant, you wouldn't even get hired, as they wanted 20%
as an average a year, in order to pay for their own costs.

Right now no one who is making those percentages based upon  
indexation and dividend is low.

Several high frequency traders on other hand made an average profit  
of over 10% profit each year over the past 12 years.
High frequency trading was just a few billion dollar worth in total  
earnings start this century.

Right now even the guys who are 'long term' investing in the  
exchanges, they just trade futures and relative few
options as a protection (if they're cheap).

So entire market has moved nearly completely to derivatives right now.

That's an amount of cash that if you write it out, you easily make a  
mistake in the number of zero's it has that number,
that much it is.

You really would be naive to believe they will give you or me ANY  
information.

First of all no one has access to the bunkers of the traders where  
they are doing all the analysis.
Not even the army, especially army guys, most intelligence dudes are  
known for stealing data and using for their own
gain, as long as they don't get shot, especially military doesn't get  
in there.

Speaking of your government. They don't even have the EQUIPMENT to  
verify what the traders are doing. the governments
equipment works in the milliseconds still. Traders however measure in  
microseconds of course.

Let's start with definitions.

Something that calculates in a HPC center. You sure its name is  
'server'?

For companies that really will give you 0 information, it's rather  
difficult to count what they actually have.

It's for example unclear how many of them are number crunching on  
gpu's. We can safely assume majority is not yet doing that.
But i know of at least 1 hedgefund which has surprising amounts of  
guys hired who know something about gpgpu.

Then 1+1 = 2 of course.

Start looking at intel Xeon sales and IBM sales and realize how few  
HPC centers that do for governments nowadays lately got
an 'upgrade'. Then come back with those sales numbers.

Furthermore for such long term analysis, it doesn't matter if a  
machine sometimes goes broken. The google principle simply
applies. Cheap number crunching hardware is what matters. It will  
need quite some bandwidth of course for the trading data
and they need big storage.

So looking at number of harddrives sold, and i'd look to SATA drives  
if i were you as those are cheaper, is a more interesting thing.

The only fast low latency machines with fast cpu's you need is in the  
datacenter of the platforms and the exchanges.

For the simulations it's all about having massive cpu power and there  
is a LOT of solutions to do that.
The only thing we DO know is that the High Frequency Traders are  
still making good cash and nearly no one else is.

So it's obvious everyone is moving there. If you do not build  
yourself a huge datacenter as a trader, then it's time to retire and  
enjoy your pension.

The most important observation is that HFT can avoid worst case  
scenario's for you. Limit losses during big crashes.

What is that worth to you?

Will there be a new crash any soon knowing that markets don't like  
Europe overspend a tad under 3%, whereas
USA is overspending 50%+ right now?  (spending divided by income).

It seems that in 2008 democratic forces took care that the already  
volatile situation, which was there since 2007,
that it crashed instantly.

If republican forces want to do the same thing now, they have roughly  
3 weeks left for a perfect timing to get their
candidate elected.

And for years to come after that, USA will be overspending too much.  
Will it get like Japan which has 230%+ debt and therefore an exchange
that total imploded?

No one knows.

But we do know 1 hard fact and that's that only the high frequency  
traders made GOOD PROFITS in a SYSTEMATIC manner past 12 years
and no one else did do that.

By the way: the bigger the bank the slower they are to adapt to the  
new reality...

On Sep 10, 2012, at 1:01 PM, holway at th.physik.uni-frankfurt.de wrote:

>> A single tad larger trader typically has a 3000 machines and they're
>> all equipped with a highspeed network.
>
> Europe installed over 2 million new servers in 2011 according to  
> Gartner.
>
> The Royal Bank of Scotland, one of the the most massive banks on the
> planet, operates something less than 10k servers in their data synapse
> grid but this is their modeling department and its not their high
> frequency trading machines.
>
> Just because a bank has a lot of servers does not mean they all  
> need to be
> located near the exchange. The Montecarlo stuff will help the HFT guys
> devise triggers and rules which will be set up on their trading  
> systems.
> The actual HFT system will probably only actually be a couple of  
> machines
> in some basement somewhere in london.
>
>
>>
>> As slowly trader by trader is simply getting kicked bigtime by the
>> traders that do have those 3000+ machines in their own datacenter,
>> one by one they are all setting up their own calculation centers with
>> more machines to do those simulations figuring out whether their
>> package, based upon previous data, can make them big cash tomorrow on
>> the exchanges.
>>
>> In most nations the high frequency traders will have the majority of
>> the HPC hardware. More than government.
>>
>> On Sep 10, 2012, at 12:08 PM, holway at th.physik.uni-frankfurt.de  
>> wrote:
>>
>>> http://www.google.com/about/datacenters/inside/index.html
>>>
>>> High Frequency Trading is actually a tiny amount of the world wide
>>> computer power. Far far less than HPC. This kit tends to be located
>>> very close to the exchange anyway. and is generally uninteresting in
>>> terms of green IT.
>>>
>>> I recently met with one of the technical directors of Deutsch Börse
>>> which is the major central european stock exchange.. They are just
>>> moving their central trading platform from some VMS clustery thing
>>> (before my time) to a Intel / Infiniband / RedHat cluster of no more
>>> than 200 nodes of which about half were gateway nodes (with  
>>> interface
>>> cards for external connections to the finance houses). Its all small
>>> time stuff.
>>>
>>> So please cease debasing these discussions with 'Iceland will never
>>> have datacenters because you cant use it for HFT". Thou speaks from
>>> thyne arse :) HFT is far smaller than HPC which is tiny anyway.
>>>
>>> Latency generally doesn't matter. I can ping www.whitehouse.gov in
>>> 30ms. www.number10.gov.uk in 23ms and, kinda ironically, 43ms for
>>> www.berlin.de (I live in Berlin).
>>>
>>> Also, really, this oil bath stuff will never happen in the main
>>> stream. Some procurement process with buy it because of the numbers
>>> and then regret it for all time in a semi public way. Then we can  
>>> all
>>> forget it and get on with what we have always been doing; stealing
>>> partitions from the office to direct the hot air out of the door  
>>> that
>>> we have propped open with a chair.
>>>
>>> I think most of us have had to replace all of the memory in our  
>>> shiny
>>> new cluster at some time or some other annoying task that involves
>>> taking out every node and doing something annoying with a  
>>> screwdriver
>>> and that sharp edge that kept slicing under your thumb nail. I
>>> actually nearly chopped of the tip of my finger on a 9000RPM fan. It
>>> was not a neat wound.
>>>
>>> Image doing that in rubber gloves with everything covered in goop.
>>> Brilliant.
>>>
>>> ta for now.
>>>
>>> Andrew
>>>
>>>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>>>> Hash: SHA1
>>>>
>>>> On 05/09/12 23:14, Robert G. Brown wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I don't think they even bother with a proper enclosure per
>>>>> motherboard.  Over the counter, commodity, cheap, almost hardware
>>>>> agnostic.
>>>>
>>>> A Google talk I went to a few years back confirmed that's the case
>>>> (or
>>>> rather, lack of a case IYSWIW) for their nodes in their search
>>>> clusters, but they did make the point they use more standard  
>>>> hardware
>>>> for the services they make money from (like advertising) to get
>>>> better
>>>> reliability.
>>>>
>>>> Whether that's still the case, I don't know.
>>>>
>>>> cheers!
>>>> Chris
>>>> - --
>>>>  Christopher Samuel        Senior Systems Administrator
>>>>  VLSCI - Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative
>>>>  Email: samuel at unimelb.edu.au Phone: +61 (0)3 903 55545
>>>>  http://www.vlsci.org.au/      http://twitter.com/vlsci
>>>>
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