Rumor of HP looking at Sun HW acquisition

Reported on the Inquirer site. The claim is that this deal would complement the EDS services business.
Hmmm….
HP could take (and is taking) Sun’s business for effectively free. Why would they pay for something they can get for free?
Something just doesn’t ring true about this, and I’d chalk this rumor up to more wishful thinking on the part of some of the reporters sources.

Read moreRumor of HP looking at Sun HW acquisition

In the end, it is all about money

An article on softpedia discusses the state of the windows/linux client and server markets. I can personally attest to seeing Microsoft scrambling to try to turn every Linux opportunity into a windows win, but I am not sure they completely grasp what they are up against. This article amplifies this.

Customers will continually increase to take advantage of the inexistent price tag that is associated with Linux. IDC forecast that free Linux server operating system deployments will outpace new subscriptions in the next four years. Nonpaid Linux server deployments will jump to 43.3% from just 41.4% in 2007. “This phenomenon is not unique to Linux ??? as we see the same trend playing out with Windows server operating environments,” Gillen noted. ???We find that more customers are seeing nonpaid Linux as a viable solution for certain non-critical business needs, despite the lack of commercial applications and the potential support challenges that come with a non-commercially-supported distribution.”

Read moreIn the end, it is all about money

A small DeltaV test

This is for a customer who wants to run a benchmark today. Wish we had a JackRabbit in the lab, but our engineering machine is at a customer site.
One “blade” of a “CX1” with 3.2 GHz Nehalem’s, 24 GB ram (about to bump this to 72 GB for customer benchmark), an SDR Infiniband connection (1GB/s max).
DeltaV3 (ΔV3) with an 8 disk RAID6 (6 data drives, maximum read speed of about 660 MB/s), and a 6 disk RAID10 (not being used for this test). Infiniband SDR connection (1GB/s max).
A Cisco 24 port SDR switch (our engineering lab switch)

Read moreA small DeltaV test

Sun+Oracle update: not done yet, but they are in a rush

It was reported earlier this week that Oracle received an OK from US DOJ to acquire Sun. A new article suggests the reason for the speed.

Oracle had originally hoped to complete the acquisition in August. Sun shareholders on July 16 approved the $5.6 billion deal by a wide enough margin for the Justice Department to terminate the waiting period normally required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Oracle announced the planned acquisition in April.
The Justice Department ruling came earlier than expected, a possible response to Sun’s declining revenues and precarious business position in a steep recession, as the required reviews proceeded.

How bad was it?

Read moreSun+Oracle update: not done yet, but they are in a rush

Odd Gridengine + OpenMPI 1.3.x interaction: non-advancing jobs

Banging my head against this one. OpenMPI 1.3.x is IMO one of the best MPI stacks available. It makes my life easy in many regards, and most of the time, it just works.
Gridengine is a venerable job scheduler, albeit one that hasn’t done a great job with MPI integration in the past. I remember writing reaper scripts to clean up after MPICH1/2 runs for various customers. Tight integration as it is called, didn’t work that well.
To the OpenMPI teams credit, they adapted ORTE to work with Gridengine. So OpenMPI jobs can be launched from SGE without much effort, and minimal configuration of the parallel environment.
So things should just work.
But they don’t always.

Read moreOdd Gridengine + OpenMPI 1.3.x interaction: non-advancing jobs

Try + buy programs

We no longer do try and buy programs. We’ve found that customers would use our unit to lever our competitors down in price, and extract additional concessions from them. Just walk them by our box with the blinkenlights, and the nice logos … scared quite a few sales reps into submission. Then we get our box back after the other vendor is suitably scared.
There’s no upside for us, at all. So we stopped doing it.

Read moreTry + buy programs

Business focus … scaling programs up

This is about scalability in processes and administration of programs, not really HPC.
Last month, I took advantage of cash 4 clunkers. I got rid of a car I swore to drive into the ground (which I nearly did). In 4 days, the government is finally admitting, it had 250k transactions.
The dealerships were crowded.
The websites, which were the font of all information and arrangements?
Basically massively overloaded.
Fast forward to today, where I saw this article.

“The program is a great program in the sense that it’s creating a lot of floor traffic that a lot of dealers haven’t seen in a long time,” he said.
“But it’s in the hands of this enormous bureaucracy and regulatory agency,” he added. “If they don’t get out of their own way, this program is going to be a huge failure.”

Ok. Now this isn’t a stretch at all. Simply replace all the auto references in this article with health and healthcare references. Then increase the traffic by an order of magnitude.

Read moreBusiness focus … scaling programs up

Rumors of Infiniband's (imminent) demise …

… are greatly exaggerated. John at InsideHPC has an article on Cisco’s move out of Infiniband which refers to another article on this.
I have to basically say, I’ll believe 10GbE conquering IB when I see it.
Every year is proclaimed to be the year that IB is vanquished by 10GbE. I was reporting on this stuff 2+ years ago, and asked very simple questions just last year. When will 10GbE come into its own in HPC?
In storage, it could. There are a few very good 10GbE units out there, and we can use them quite well. 10GbE for storage is IMO, a no brainer, though IB for storage (if you have IB) is also a no brainer … to a degree. 10GbE makes using storage fast, quite easy. As we have some of the fastest and most reasonably priced storage on the market, we need as much network firepower and simplified connectivity as possible. Our 1GB/s NFS result over a single fibre with a single client and a single server is pretty amazing. Considering that the data was too large to be cached for reading/writing should say something about the performance of our units. But that it was done using plain old NFS over 10GbE, should say something about what we can do as well.

Read moreRumors of Infiniband's (imminent) demise …