rack vs piles

Robert B Heckendorn heckendo at cs.uidaho.edu
Tue Aug 13 11:08:35 PDT 2002

> Racks sure look nice and there is no question that they
> are space efficient, but I'm really starting to wonder if
> they are such a great idea for a smallish cluster (<=20 nodes)
> in those situations where there is enough space for a
> classic pile of PCs.   I mean, what other advantages do they
> have besides those two to offset their many disadvantages?

I agree with a lot said here.  But don't some of problems with
racks go away if you go with 2U cases?  

Also price is the big difference.  The more comodity the better the
price.  As racks become more mainstream then we will see better
pricing but it is hard to equal the home market.

> Racks better than piles:
> 1.  Space efficiency.
> 2.  Aesthetics (racks look cool)
> Piles better than racks (these are not orthogonal):
> 1.  Internal space constraints
> 2.  CPU/motherboard Cooling.  This follows from [1].
> 3.  Motherboard/CPU options.  This follows from [1]. 
>     With a few exceptions most motherboard/CPU combinations
>     will fit into a standard ATX case -  good luck getting
>     a 2.4 Ghz P4 into a 1U.
> 4.  Initial purchase price for equivalent performance.
> 5.  Maintenance costs (rack parts tend to be nonstandard
>     and expensive to replace, for instance, 1U power supplies).

| Robert Heckendorn                        | We may not be the only
| heckendo at cs.uidaho.edu                   | species on the planet but
| http://www.cs.uidaho.edu/~heckendo       | we sure do act like it.
| CS Dept, University of Idaho             |
| Moscow, Idaho, USA   83844-1010          |

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