[Beowulf] commercial clusters

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Fri Sep 29 09:32:20 PDT 2006

Which drivers can get 300 KM/h with their car on the road?

Yet i want a car that can get 300KM/h too.

My average speed in Netherlands on the highways where there is no control is
about 160-170 though (you lose license when driving 170+) when trying to get
in time for an appointment.

In germany down hill i once managed to get to 200KM/h,
so the odds of me ever getting close to 300KM/h in my car is like zero.

Yet my sister just bought a third car, some BMW sportscar, which can 
actually GET
close to that 300.

Of course on paper, bigtime professional driver inside, slicks under it bla 

Never underestimate the average user.
He's your customer.

Or you are going to claim that universities and government buys a 12288 
processor system because they NEED it?

Comeon, they spend that 50 million euro because they CAN afford spending 50 
million euro and
then have a look what they can get it and whether they can end up high in 
the sporthall top500.

Look, there is a difference between software and hardware here for the 
average user.
For something physical they can keep in their hands they are going to pay, 
for software
they ask their neighbouring kid whether he can download it for 'em.

If you'd realize the number of duals and quads getting sold right now that 
end up just as a
toymachine, you would perhaps start to realize how big the game-playing 
industry is.

Of course majority playing 3d games.

Well actually diep is also a 3d game, in case you wonder.
Except that instead of conquering another universe, you do something 
innocent with it like
conquering the opponents king.

Oh btw there is online an entire industry of people now who just play 
engine-engine and
others who play correspondence games (where computers is allowed).

Now and then such tournaments get sponsored by a sheikh, so there is money 
to win too.

The game-playing industry is way bigger than highend and will only expand 
and expand.

Because in contradiction to highend, where highend means basically that 
vendors with increased
computing power can offer solutions with big redundancy cheaper, there is a 
limit in what a company
right now needs in computing power for their clients.

Highend already basically is busy delivering just the servers and 
datacenters and computing power.

So except for the number crunching teenagers, there is a limit in what 
highend needs in terms of
redundancy which gets cheaper each year. Companies compete, that's why.

In terms of the average Joe, there is more and more of them on the planet 
and they are willing to pay
fortunes to get a great experience. This will not change.

Some of them simply pay more for that experience than others.

It is just very recently that there is software that can profit a lot from 
quad machines and yet is
easy to install. Windows server however is way way too complicated for the 
average Joe
to use.

That's currently the biggest limitation in the progress of 'highend 
hardware' for the average joe.
The price is most definitely not the problem. 8 cores for 7000 dollar.

It is all about user-friendlyness and ordering ease.

After knowing what to look for, browsing to the highend companies,
what you'll see is: "highend machine server bla bla with $3000 gold premium 
1 hour support
for just $30k and a $100k raid array of 1 terabyte in external case bla bla 
and with 1500 watt
power supply".

That is not attractive to Average Joe.

Another major concern of the average joe is the power that equipment uses.

They do not know or do not care that airco soon is a 1400 watt eating 
as it is a fundamental thing when living in a hot climate,

but they do realize that the computer is a luxury item and don't want it to 
eat much power.

Make a machine that is $10k, has more computing power than a PC for games,
and is low power, and you have a sales success.

Ever saw an advertizement: "ready to use gaming machine with 8 cores and low 
power" ?


Well soon you will.

Called CELL.

Just for the above reason already it will get a big sales success.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Geoff Jacobs" <gdjacobs at gmail.com>
To: "Vincent Diepeveen" <diep at xs4all.nl>
Cc: "Robert G. Brown" <rgb at phy.duke.edu>; "Angel Dimitrov" 
<stormlaboratory at yahoo.com>; <beowulf at beowulf.org>
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 2:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] commercial clusters

> Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>> If it was possible to build your own cluster in easy manner and then run
>> for
>> example a chessprogram at it in a user friendly way,
>> there would be 100k+ clusters right now of 64 cpu's and more.
> I think you maybe overestimate the number of chess players who can
> challenge existing chess programs on their standard PC. I also think you
> overestimate the number of chess players with ~$10k to blow on a cluster.
> Probably much more common to use a hefty SMP rig.
> -- 
> Geoffrey D. Jacobs
> Go to the Chinese Restaurant,
> Order the Special

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