[Beowulf] distributed file storage solution?

Buccaneer for Hire. buccaneer at rocketmail.com
Tue Dec 12 10:36:58 PST 2006

----- Original Message ----
From: Mark Hahn <hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca>
To: Buccaneer for Hire. <buccaneer at rocketmail.com>
Cc: beowulf at beowulf.org
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 11:50:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] distributed file storage solution?

> | Just as an FYI, I would recommend that whatever you decide on, you develop a
> | "show me" attitude and test it at your location using your job mix BEFORE you
> | spend a dime on it. They you can decide how much time and money it will take
> | to make it work.
> have you had success with this approach?  

Absolutely it does.  They promise they can do something better than anyone 
else can, let them prove it. 

> I'm pretty sure vendors would have 
> laughed at us if we asked for it, though for something small (few TB, 
> <100 clients, etc), I'm sure it would work.  then again, anyone could do 
> that sort of small project on a weekend.  if you have hundreds of clients,
> expensive (non-Gb) interconnect, multiple racks, power,cooling,floor needs,
> I don't think you'll get a lot of people offering to do full demos for you.

Why would they laugh?  We manage our cluster efficiently and get a lot of real
work done.  If you tell me you can improve that (otherwise why change anything),
shouldn't you be willing to put your money where your mouth is?

When I tell my masters we should go with something, I make sure I have all the
facts stacked in my favor so there are no surprises.  When my masters fail to listen
and impulse buy I wind up with a file system with infiniband (which has been talked 
about here) that a year later when I asked my co-sysadmin here if it was  finally 
running, he smiles and answers, "That depends on how what you mean by running... 

Yes it runs, yes we break it 100% of the time."  

>in short, if you do this, aren't you effectively pre-selecting high-margin vendors?

Who cares what the margins are?  If they have something that will increase the
ability of our cluster to complete more jobs in a shorter amount of time-is that not
why we are here?

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