[Beowulf] SGI to offer Windows on clusters

Craig Tierney ctierney at hypermall.net
Wed Jan 17 07:26:01 PST 2007

Joe Landman wrote:
> Mikhail Kuzminsky wrote:
>> In message from Mikael Fredriksson <mike at etek.chalmers.se> (Mon, 15 
>> Jan 2007 20:00:17 +0100):
>>> This article: "SGI to offer Windows on clusters" might be worth 
>>> reading...
>>> http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9007859&source=NLT_PM&nlid=8 
>>> Any comments?
>>   In any case it's bad news :-( SGI has solid reputation in HPC and 
>> university world, and may be somebody will be tempted. But it's 
>> interesting, w/which prices SGI will sell their clusters ? Hope that 
>> the price will be much more higher than for SGI Linux clusters ;-)
> My understanding of pricing (for the windows portion) is that it adds 
> (as an OS) $500USD to each node.  So for a 32 node machine, this is an 
> extra $16k USD "tax" added on.  Doesn't include the absolutely necessary 
> antivirus, anti-spyware, ...  Calling all that roughly $4k USD (roughly 
> $125/node), we are looking at something closer to $20k extra per 32 
> nodes.  So for 128 nodes, this adds $80k USD.  For 1024 nodes, this adds 
> $640k USD.

> My question has been on the CBA side.  What do you get for that extra 
> tax that you don't get now?

You mean like the "tax" that vendors who sell Redhat put on their
systems because it adds an extra cost to each node?  What do you get for

I think that you would get a system that fits well into an existing
MS environment.  I also see getting a system where you don't have to
go through driver hell to get things working when the vendors don't
(or can't) get their drivers in the kernel.  I know of some very large
and smart organizations that cannot get their IB, perfctr, and
lustre patches working together correctly.  Why do I have to
have a kernel engineer on staff to make this stuff work?

I see the MS solution attractive to the ISVs where they only
have to build their and test their code once.  No building
for RH and Novell, actively ignoring Fedora, Debian, Gentoo,
and Unbutu, and then worrying about the interconnect and
version of MPI that happens to be used.

Most everyone on this list is smart and talented enough to solve
these problems.  MS isn't selling to us.

And no, I don't have any interesting in building an MS cluster
for all of the other problems it introduces.

> Microsoft could simply be subsidizing this for SGI.  Others have (cough 
> cough) for them.

You wouldn't?  Anyone trying to crack into a new market
would do so.


> Joe
> (former SGI person)

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