[Beowulf] A bit OT - scientific workstations - recommendations

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Fri Mar 3 14:00:43 PST 2006

> - 24/7/365 next day on site support 

this strikes me as silly.  9x5 is probably a lot more affordable,
and really, do you need 24x7?  would you really want to come in
at 3am saturday morning to chaperone a hardware service call?

I also don't believe there's any real value in insisting on a particular
distro, or in having it preinstalled.  what you really want is hardware 
that "just works".

> I have checked IBM and SUN which are "waaaayyy to expensive" and I am
> leaning towards HP's xw9300 which seems nice but the sales people at HP
> are the most unhelpful bunch I've ever dealt with. So obviously I have
> my doubts about the whole HP-Linux experience. 

I've had a LOT of experience with HP, and am reasonably satisfied.
the hardware is generally better engineered, very well supported/serviced,
and as such, worth the smallish price-premium.  you can save quite a lot
if you compare to very DIY/commodity/whitebox sorts of solutions, but 
the latter is only viable if you have the expertise and time.

I don't have any idea how well HP does supporting the linux they offer 
preinstalled.  but I'd rather spend 10 minutes per machine installing 
my own distro of choice.  it's not like HP (or any vendor offering 
preinstalled distros) is going to run yum for you, so you're going to have to
do some maintenance yourself. 

regards, mark hahn.

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