[Beowulf] SGI to offer Windows on clusters

Ashley Pittman ashley at quadrics.com
Thu Jan 18 02:30:21 PST 2007

On Wed, 2007-01-17 at 08:50 +0100, Mikael Fredriksson wrote:
> Eric Shook wrote:
> > I talked to our SGI rep about this yesterday and he told me they are not 
> > really targeting "hard-core" university research where Linux/UNIX 
> > already has a strong foot hold.  Instead this is for the Business sector 
> > where simplified workflows and having easy HPC integration into an 
> > already 100% Windows Infrastructure is more appealing.
> > 
> > This was his take and it seemed reasonable to me.
> Yes, it is.  And more so if this cluster/LAN can also utilize som type
> of "MOSIX" system.  This will substatially increase the throughput of
> "standard serial" processes.

I find this statement hard to comprehend, how can any OS substantially
improve throughput of jobs unless what it replaces is incredibly
deficient in some way?  The limiting factor on clusters is the speed of
the hardware, even if some OS magically manages to be say 50% more
efficient doing it's bit than another OS it's still only a tiny percent
of time used, substantial improvements in job throughput can only come
about from better parallel algorithms, better code or faster hardware.

> But as stated in a previous thread, the "hard-core" systems are fairly specialized.

I think you may be surprised if you actually used a hard-core system,
whilst it's true that they are more than the sum of their parts the
parts are mostly that of a bog standard Linux distribution.

I suppose it could be true that changing to OS to Windows would make
them less specialised however that probably says more about Windows than
it does about "hard-core" clusters, I've no idea if this statement would
be true any more however, I've not used Windows in a number of years.


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