[Beowulf] SC13 wrapup, please post your own

Kevin Van Workum vanw+beowulf at sabalcore.com
Tue Nov 26 11:50:59 PST 2013

Regarding ROI for academia. My background is in computational molecular
thermodynamics and in my ~10 yr academic research career I logged millions
of core-hours and contributed to ~100 publications. During that time, I can
definitely say that my time-to-publication or publication output was not
significantly impacted by the HPC resources to which I had access. The
largest factors was the speed at which my advisor could respond with
his/her revisions. Second to that, was my success rate in acquiring grants.

Furthermore a few of my publications required nearly zero core-hours but
earned a relatively large Impact Factor. On the other hand, some
publications used tons of core-hours and were probably never even read by
other researchers. Generally, I would use as much cluster time as I could
get my hands on. The total mass of hardware to which I had access was
directly related to the absolute problem size and number of data points
generated, not the number or quality of my publications.

FWIW, in our industry (HPC OnDemand), calculating ROI is almost trivial.

Kevin Van Workum, PhD
Sabalcore Computing Inc.


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