Price of a 24 cluster

Laurence Liew laurence at
Sat Sep 8 16:34:06 PDT 2001

Dear Luismar,

If you are building the cluster yourself.. then you only need to conisder the
hardware you need. You need to include in racks to house the systems and network

... based on current prices of hardware.. I expect the cluster to cost you
around A$150,000 for a normal tower casing system.. if you are going for a
branded hardware like IBM's x330 1U systems.. (PIII's only no P4s).. you are
probably looking at A$220,000. Add an additional 10 - 15% markup for integration
services if you are using an integrator.

Personally I would recommend going for a server class systems like the IBM x330
or the new compaq 1U systems (Please note that we are an IBM business partner).
We have had 70 nodes of such systems running for over 3 months without any
hardware failures.... this is important especially if  your simulations are long
and run over many days.... checkpointing is still not generally available on
linux (unless you code for them or patch your system with some of the
checkpointing patches available).. to have system restart is not nice :-)

And as a system-integrator... it is a lose making proposition to propose low end
machines... the higher chances of machine failures make the frequent trips to
customer site very expensive.

The above pricing is based on list prices.. as you are an edu, you should get
generous discounts... 

Hope this helps..


Quoting Luismar Marques Porto <LuismarP at>:

> Dear Beowulf Angels,
> Is there anyone out there willing to help me estimating the
> price of setting up a 24 PC beowulf cluster with Intel P4, 2.0GHz, 
> dual CPU, 1 GB RAM, 4x40 HD/node, including switches and a bridge 
> for a ATM conection? 
> I just need an estimate at this point, but any particular 
> configuration with respective amount spent would be of a really 
> big help, since I am in a hurry to submit a resarch project.
> If you prefer, you could just tell me about your experience sending
> a particular message to luismarp at
> I really appreciate any comments and help.
> Regards,
> Luismar
> Luismar Marques Porto
> Laboratory for Biological Engineering
> Department of Chemical Engineering
> The University of Queensland           
> AUSTRALIA                   
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