[Beowulf] Often favorable to hire HPC specialists over more hardware
joshua_mora at usa.net
Fri Apr 5 21:02:02 PDT 2013
Sorry, I did not read in order the post. Brian Dobbins made the same point few
hours earlier in the very same way.
------ Original Message ------
Received: 05:52 AM CEST, 04/06/2013
From: "Joshua Mora" <joshua_mora at usa.net>
To: Beowulf Mailing List <Beowulf at beowulf.org>
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Often favorable to hire HPC specialists over more
> Similar rational arguments apply to why you want to invest into a good
> I find though easier to justify these things in terms of the metric money
> rather than performance metrics. Just HPC people are not that used to use
> metric money.
> In other words it becomes a business decision.
> Example : Compiler A, 10% better than Compiler B in terms of performance
> 80% of applications on HPC infrastructure of cost 1M USD. Compiler A costs
> USD. Compiler B is open source (nothing wrong against GCC or Open64). It
> you can aproximately reduce your computing infrastructure and electric bill
> and maintenance cost by a factor of 0.10*0.80=0.08 (8%). Total cost of
> is 1MUSD (HW). So you can have an impact on the savings in hardware about
> USD. That by itself will compensate to pay 30K USD on the compiler. Add to
> that savings the power savings and maintenance savings in the same
> for 3/4 years of life of the infrastructure. So 30K saved you 80K on HW+80K
> electric bill for 3/4 years and 80K for maintenance of 8% fewer nodes.
> investment 30K , total savings 240K-30K=210K.
> Finally, with those 210K you hire a good HPC guy to optimize the code for a
> solid year ;)
> ------ Original Message ------
> Received: 03:30 AM CEST, 04/06/2013
> From: Robin Whittle <rw at firstpr.com.au>
> To: Beowulf Mailing List <Beowulf at beowulf.org>
> Subject: [Beowulf] Often favorable to hire HPC specialists over more
> > Parts of the "Roadrunner shutdown" thread developed into a discussion
> > about the benefits of hiring specialized HPC programmers as an
> > alternative to spending more money on hardware.
> > For the benefit of folks searching the archives, here is one of the
> > messages in that sub-thread, from Brian Dobbins, which contains many
> > points of interest:
> > http://www.beowulf.org/pipermail/beowulf/2013-April/031271.html
> > including:
> > Why it may be worth hiring a good developer if there are a moderate
> > to high number of nodes in the system already - with rough dollar
> > cost estimates.
> > A number of programming- and compilation- level things which can
> > easily be fixed by a programmer with the right expertise, which
> > will greatly improve performance, but which might not be known by
> > programmers who are primarily interested in science. Also, how
> > common they are. (I wonder: if this is true, then perhaps half or
> > more of HPC cluster time is being wasted on this stuff, in
> > environments where many types of jobs are being run. I figure
> > the people who devote clusters to one or a few programs probably
> > invest in writing and tweaking those programs well.)
> > Having a skilled programmer to ensure to that the results are
> > correct, not just that there are results at all, or results
> > faster than before.
> > "So that's my lengthy two cents in defense of why it's /very often/
> > favorable to hire HPC specialists over more hardware . . ."
> > I know many people tend to like short chatty messages on mailing lists,
> > but I like ones like this, for which Brian's apology: "(PPS. Sorry for
> > the length!)" absolutely does not apply.
> > - Robin
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