Cash for clunkers: why it was a good idea

This is more economic than HPC related, but it has a relationship to HPC as it turns out.
Cash for clunkers was designed to replace lower MPG cars with higher MPG cars, by offering effectively a discount for purchase. The government allocated $1B to the program. It started Monday. As of today, Friday, the money is gone.
Inventory was moved, it is no longer aging, Higher MPG cars are now on the roads.
I have one. I finally … finally got rid of my Jeep Grand Cherokee. 13 years I had that car. I really liked it. But it was showing signs of aggressively falling apart. So I traded in for a car that gets 13 MPG better gas mileage.

Read moreCash for clunkers: why it was a good idea

There are many things to like in modern Linux. NetworkManager is NOT one of them.

I have never had as many problems directly caused by one application, across so many machines, across so many distributions, as NetworkManager. For those who don’t know, NetworkManager is your friendly helper application (mistakenly) adopted by distros to handle setting up networks. This would be well and good if it, I dunno, actually worked? I … Read moreThere are many things to like in modern Linux. NetworkManager is NOT one of them.

So close … so close … and then …

In this past weeks HPCwire podcast, Chris Willard and Michael Feldman discuss many things.
The business side of HPC, the future of companies, etc. I agreed with everything they said (having said it here in these pages in the past).
That is, until the last minute. Thats where what they said doesn’t quite mesh with what we observe and are experiencing.
Specifically, they suggesting that in these tough times, end users are being more conservative, sticking with the large vendors, and eschewing the smaller vendors. They appear to base this analysis on the picking up of Onstor by LSI and Ibrix by HP.
With all due respect to Chris and Michael, I disagree with their view. We see something very different in the HPC storage market. We see users needing the same if not better performance, with much smaller budgets than in the past. Moreover, when we speak with these users, we hear how they wanted to buy X, but they just couldn’t afford it.

Read moreSo close … so close … and then …

What is the future of storage?

I am seeing lots of deep soul searching in pundit circles, as well as head scratching on the part of customers, as various vendors writhe and contort in their death throes. Pundits regularly trash that which they neither grasp, nor prefer. Customers wonder what the right path going forward is. Vendors struggle to figure out what the market really wants, and to be able to offer that (all the while the marketing teams are spinning hard and fast).

Read moreWhat is the future of storage?

A silly bug in io-bm

It wasn’t enough to impact results, but it was enough to cause questioning my results (and sanity). Part of the IO operation is having N processes write to 1 file. To make this happen correctly, each process has to compute their offset into the file, and start operations from there. There is a seek involved. … Read moreA silly bug in io-bm