[Beowulf] Re: "Off teh shelf" (was:Mare Nostrum)

Maurice Hilarius maurice at harddata.com
Sat Feb 19 10:00:05 PST 2005

Mark Hahn <hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca> wrote:

>it's funny how "off the shelf" means different things to different people.
>I consider blades to be a qualitatively different category of hardware
>than, say, a tyan motherboards in an AICPC chassis.  AFAIKT, blades still
>run at a premium vs "normal" servers from the same vendor (which is also
>at a premium vs whitebox.)
No Kidding!!

If the "blades" use proprietary components, then the useful lifespan of 
the investment is what? 2 years perhaps?
If, OTOH, they truly do use "off the shelf" components, they can be 
readily upgraded.
As you mention, commodity motherboards share standard form factors, and 
usually power requirements.
If one builds a "blade box" using these it is fairly trivial to change 
out motherboards and CPUs on a scheduled basis, easily doubling, and 
often tripling the lifespan of the investment. Further these upgrades 
may be done incrementally, reducing downtime to nothing, in practical terms.

Buying a "solution" using proprietary components is the ages old 
"suckers game" that has been played by the larger vendors for decades to 
allow forced obsolescence.

Maurice W. Hilarius
Hard Data Ltd.
maurice at harddata.com

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