Working on marketing materials for siCluster, new benchmark reports, …

Weофис обзавеждане are developing some marketing materials and pages for our siCluster systems. Also some new internal benchmark reports on JackRabbit, DeltaV, and other tools. Also, we have some contracts we are working on to supply some new benchmarks of some announced/delivered and announced/not-currently shipping chips. Have a variety of new things showing up in … Read moreWorking on marketing materials for siCluster, new benchmark reports, …

Ruminations on performance … the possible, the impossible, and things in between

We are often asked what differentiates us from our competition. One of the more important aspects is our raw uncompromising performance. Our systems are fast. Not in a marketing number sense (I’ll get to this in a minute). But in real application fast. We take a no holds barred approach to performance design. And our customers do see this.
Design, implementation, … these are critical elements. Software stack, tuning …. these are critical. Performance density … how much performance you can squeeze in per rack unit, is getting to be just as important as capacity density … how much storage you can squeeze in per dollar.
And this gets to a definition of what I call a “marketing number” or “marketing benchmarks”. A marketing benchmark is a number whose derivation is in terms of optimal theoretical conditions, with assumptions that are rarely if ever true in the real world, often using unrealistic configurations for end users.
That is, marketing uses their marketing numbers to make (often specious) claims on performance density and raw performance. Its a shame that they are not meaningful. Every time you pick up a component of some system, you see these numbers. For example, did you know all SATA run at 3Gb/s? My gosh … they are fast !!! 375 MB/s that is …

Read moreRuminations on performance … the possible, the impossible, and things in between

Sunacle … Orasun … the saga continues …

It does seem that Larry Ellison and his team are focused where they think Sun’s real value lies. From an article today in The Register, some of these plans are showing up in the press. For those not sure if things are done with, the JAVA symbol appear to be going going … gone. You can still find a few reminents here. And one of its last 10Q filings, here.
As I noted previously, Oracle isn’t dumb. The execs aren’t dumb. They will focus where they can add value and extract profitable revenue. This has some implications for HPC, but more in a moment:

What Oracle seems intent on doing is ramping up the Sun direct sales, going after the top 4,000 accounts in the world with a vengeance. Even more importantly, it wants to do so with an integrated set of systems, from the microprocessor chip all the way up to industry-specific applications.
Oracle will also shut down businesses that Sun has been pursuing that do not make money, according to the reports. That could include backtracking on low-end x64-based servers, but not Sparc-based machinery, which will get a boost.

Yeah, that about covers it. How much money does Sun make from HPC?
Probably not very much.

Read moreSunacle … Orasun … the saga continues …

The "pony" scale

We get RFPs all the time. Some of these RFPs are genuine “show us good things so we can consider them.” Many are “we really want to buy something quite specific, but the rules won’t let us specify then.” Some of them have requirements or limits that make me think of a kid saying … … Read moreThe "pony" scale

OT: Joe's weekend adventure … bo kata, sparring …

I had some karate fun over the weekend, participating at a tournament in Michigan. First tournament, never done this before. Ok, in high school, I did wrestling. Same long waits punctuated by fast action, in a make or break mode.
The school I attend is here. Great instructors, nearly infinite patience for newbies like me.
As long as I don’t screw up the player, here is the bo kata. I took second place in the over 35 group (and in the 18-34 group … long story, don’t ask, but I am happy to have done better than some of them young whippersnappers 🙂 )
I’ll put the sparring video up later. In another post.
[update: moved the video until after the break so it doesn’t obscure the right sidebar]
There are 3 bo kata in the Isshinryu style. The one I am performing is called Tokomeni No Kun.
Comments below the video

Read moreOT: Joe's weekend adventure … bo kata, sparring …

Sun-acle … Orasun … Java …

The acquisition has been given a green light in Europe.
Now … as to what this means after nearly 10 months of uncertainty to Sun’s remaining customers, the ones that haven’t fled to other vendors, may be a moot question.
What this means to various markets is also unknown. We haven’t seen much focus of Oracle in HPC. Indeed, this is a tiny market for Sun (its not their forte), and given that Sun will be a small part of Oracle …

Read moreSun-acle … Orasun … Java …

Hmmm … I thought I was the only one who thought the Microsoft bots were aggressive ..

In this article on H-online, they noticed that the Microsoft bots are … er … aggressive. In the past, we’ve had to disable their 65.55.x.* access to our sites as they did not respect robots.txt. In the past year or so, they have behaved generally well, though we do notice the occasional blip. I suspect … Read moreHmmm … I thought I was the only one who thought the Microsoft bots were aggressive ..

Blown away at how annoying software installation is, on windows

I’ve argued that RPM … well … building RPMs is bothersome, in part because RPM is a moving target. Its hard to actually build a reasonable package that works correctly on all RPM based or accessible distributions. But this is nothing compared to the pain that windows people feel. I never knew how much of … Read moreBlown away at how annoying software installation is, on windows