Pure unabridged speculation … guessing really on my part

Ok. I read something while I was semi-concious during my recent defeat at the hands of a 72 hour bug (that positively whupped me upside the head, stomach and other parts).

I read Cisco is coming out with blade servers.

Ok. Here is the 2 + 2 = 3 moment. Yeah, assume I am off the mark. Pure speculation. Shai, feel free to tell me here that I am full of it.

My guess is, that if this is true, Cisco will purchase Shai’s ScaleMP, and enable its blades to build HPC systems of very large size on the fly.

Why?

Simple. Cisco is not populated with dummies. There are some very smart folks there. There are lots of blade vendors. They all offer variations on a theme. Cisco wants to make their different (assuming the story on them to be true). Cisco will make these blades well suited for virtualization … or … aggregation via Shai’s software.

Take them off the market. Restrict them to Cisco’s hardware.

Wow. This could be a very interesting time in the HPC world. Need 128 cores and 2 TB memory for a few hours? No problem. Will assemble for you on demand.

That’s why this is so interesting.

Now couple this with stuff like the Pervasive Software DataRush app, or similar apps that benefit from huge numbers of cores with shared memory. Programming shared memory is generally easier using tools like OpenMP and related. Cilk just released, and several other tools are working on making multi core and shared memory programming even easier for developers. Though OpenMP is really quite easy, it isn’t the be-all/end-all.

My gosh … its like the SGI origin really did win … in terms of concept. But using commodity parts.

Or it could be a flight of fancy on my part.

No, I/we own no stock in Cisco, nor any part of ScaleMP.

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2 thoughts on “Pure unabridged speculation … guessing really on my part

  1. 2009 will see more than 5 vendors emerge in the scalable-realtime-analytics-as-a-service space. Most of these companies will strategically use virtualized blades, and the market for ScaleMP-like products will grow rapidly. But the hardware market for scalable VM hosts is full of bad ideas and I’m fairly certain that Cisco will make the same short-sighted mistake that everyone else in this hardware market is making.

    The Green IT Kool-Aid is that consolidation will help you lower power consumption. But increasing utilization is exactly the wrong way to address power consumption. We both know our semiconductor physics. Distributing load and lowering frequency is the correct way to lower power consumption. Someone will get this right eventually.

  2. But the hardware market for scalable VM hosts is full of bad ideas and I???m fairly certain that Cisco will make the same short-sighted mistake that everyone else in this hardware market is making.

    I agree with former, not sure of the latter. Cisco has to do something different, because otherwise they are just pissing off their partners (Dell, IBM, others) with competitive products. Or they could just resell Supermicro.

    Time will tell.

    The Green IT Kool-Aid is that consolidation will help you lower power consumption. But increasing utilization is exactly the wrong way to address power consumption.

    Yeah … but the server consolidation mantra is as much to eliminate buying new servers as it is to “lower power”. The former more so than the latter. I have a spreadsheet analysis I did some time ago for the on-demand venture we were working on trying to get some funding for in 2006, where the power costs, and cooling costs weren’t a significant enough cost to be more than a nuisance. This was in conjunction with designing the systems for cost vs performance. Almost 3 years old, and the latest 150+W monsters may have altered the equation.

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