[Beowulf] SC13 wrapup, please post your own

Tim Cutts tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Tue Nov 26 06:39:57 PST 2013


On 25 Nov 2013, at 23:03, Prentice Bisbal <prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu> wrote:

> 4. I went to a BoF on ROI on HPC investment. All the presentations in 
> the BoF frustrated me. Not because they were poorly done, but because 
> they tried to measure the value of a cluster by number of papers 
> published that used that HPC resource. I think that's a crappy, crappy 
> metric, but haven't been able to come up with a better one myself yet. I 
> was very vocal with my comments and criticisms of the presentations, so 
> if any of the presenters are reading this now, I apologize for 
> hi-jacking your BoF. Getting good ROI on a cluster is close to my heart, 
> but is also difficult to quantify and measure. I hope I can be part of 
> the discussion next year.


I can't think of another metric either.  At the top of my organisation, publications are *the* key metric that all scientists are judged on.  Publications are *the* product of any scientific institution.  We don't sell anything, so we can't measure revenue.  All we can measure are papers published per unit time.  The problem is that the publication of the paper is very distant from the building of your compute infrastructure, so it's very hard to put a sensible number on ROI for this stuff.

> 7. The cover band 'London Calling' played the IBM Platform 
> Computing/Intel party again. Despite calling themselves 'London Calling' 
> they still do not play any Clash songs. They are a good cover band, but 
> it's starting to get boring seeing the same band play the same set year 
> after year.


It did at least have more atmosphere than either of the parties I went to earlier in the week, which were pretty much like drinking in a morgue.  I won't name them, but we probably all know which ones.  Both were at establishments on the 16th street Mall.  I had a lot more fun and useful conversation in bars after abandoning ship…

Tim




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