[Beowulf] Re: What vendors would you be sure to check out?

David Kewley kewley at gps.caltech.edu
Mon Jan 2 20:41:20 PST 2006

On Saturday 31 December 2005 08:14, Bill Rankin wrote:
> On Dec 30, 2005, at 4:10 PM, Dan Stromberg wrote:
> > First of all, thanks much to all who responded!
> Thanks for the list, Dan.  I appreciate your efforts.


> One comment:
> > - A recommendation against Dell, due to having only recently
> > started doing AMD, and due to frequently insisting on selling a
> > microsoft license with each box.  Also, they will sometimes send
> > parts other than what you requested, unless you specifically say
> > you want no substitutions.
> This is very odd.  I have purchased about 500 systems from Dell over
> the last 2-1/2 years.  This has been a collection of Poweredge 1750s,
> 2650, SC1425's and a lot of 5224/5324 GigE switches and racks.

I have a 1024-node Dell cluster.  It's great.

> 1) I have never had a problem getting the MS license dropped from the
> order.  In fact, on their web-based server configuration page they
> specifically have a "No installed OS" selection available.
> 2) I have always received the systems that I have ordered w/o
> substitution.  Any errors in the orders were handled quickly by the
> Dell sales people.

I agree with Bill.  I think whoever suggested that these issues are 
problems is referring more to consumer-oriented sales than to rackmount 
cluster sales.

You should have none of these types of problems if you buy 
cluster-oriented rackmount stuff.  Just ask Dell hard questions up 
front, make certain that the order specifies exactly what you want, and 
if Dell screws up, point it out to them.  I predict that they'll fix it 
no problem; that's certainly been my experience.

> As for the "AMD and Dell" part, did I miss something here?  While I
> suspect that Dell has been investigating AMD-based servers and
> probably has developed some prototypes in the back lab (as Michael
> Dell has hinted in past press releases), I was not aware of any
> offerings from Dell that use AMD processors.  Does someone have a URL
> to a press release?

To the best of my knowledge, whoever suggested that Dell has recently 
started doing AMD is misinformed, at least if doing == selling.  
They're still Intel-only as far as I know.


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