[Beowulf] Node Drop-Off

Joshua Baker-LePain jlb17 at duke.edu
Tue Dec 5 04:03:22 PST 2006

On Mon, 4 Dec 2006 at 7:01pm, Robert G. Brown wrote

> This is really the basic difference between tier 1 and tier 2.  You can
> save short term money with the latter, but have to do things like just
> plain throw out hardware -- after sweating over it for a long time,
> nagging your tier 2 vendor, getting angry, losing a lot of productivity
> and time.  For some projects that works -- for others it doesn't.

I think you're painting with too broad a brush there.  I find the Tier 2 
I buy from to be *far* more helpful and proactive than the dominant Tier 1 
here on campus.  I can relate a number of stories about them finding spare 
parts for systems long out of warranty, upgrading components when it's the 
quicker rather than the cheaper way to fix a problem, replacing shipper
damaged systems within days, etc.  In short, the sort of personal, 
helpful service I've never seen from a Tier 1.  And it's not like I'm a 
major customer, either -- they supply some *big* operations.

Sure, there are many less than good Tier 1s out there, so caveat 
beowulfer.  But you can some who, IMHO, outperform the big boys 
considerably, and not just on price.

Joshua Baker-LePain
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Duke University

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