[Beowulf] Third-party drives not permitted on new Dell servers?

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Feb 16 11:52:23 PST 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rahul Nabar [mailto:rpnabar at gmail.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 11:43 AM
> To: Lux, Jim (337C)
> Cc: landman at scalableinformatics.com; Mikhail Kuzminsky; beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Third-party drives not permitted on new Dell servers?
> On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 12:32 PM, Lux, Jim (337C)
> <james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:
> > Unfortunately, the HPC (Beowulf) world is driven by the economics of the ordinary consumer/office
> desktop computer.  That's what lets you build a teraflop machine without incurring the debt of a small
> country: you can leverage the mass production for consumers which drives the prices down, but also has
> very short product cycles.
> >
> > The 3 year cycle is driven by in large part by IRS depreciation rules which call computer equipment
> a "5-year" piece of gear, but
> On the other hand many of the Beowulfers are in the govt. / university
> / higher-ed. domain where things run somewhat "tax free"? Not sure if
> then these IRS writeoffs then factor much into decision making or not.
> All the more reason to avoid getting locked-in to 3-year vendor
> cycles.

Yes, but my point was that Beowulfers are a relatively small consumer of what the industry produces, and what *industry* decides to produce is driven by what most people face in terms of lifecycle practices.

So, even if you don't live with the IRS rules (and even if you're tax free, that doesn't mean that your accountants don't follow Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, which map pretty much one to one), you wind up being affected by them.

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