1,100 computers. 2,200 64-bit G5 processors running at 2GHz each, at a total cost of US$5.2 million.; untold miles worth of cabling. 10.3 Teraflops; the third fastest computer in the world...Impressive sounding, perhaps, but according to an article at C|Net, itis no more than an "educational project," not something a serious commercial customer should be interested in. From C|Net:
But when it comes to cluster supercomputers, an important technology expected to become the foundation of utility computing, there are hidden costs aplenty. It cost $5.2 million to buy the Virginia Tech gear, but that figure doesnit include what the school says were "hundreds of volunteered hours of Virginia Tech faculty, staff and students to help set up the 19.25 tons of computers, routers and other equipment."
In an academic environment, there are plenty of graduate students on hand to figure out the best arrangement of processors, memory and network gear for a given task. Students also can translate software written for other computers to Appleis systems, which with a single machine now on the top 500 list are far from prevalent in the supercomputing arena.
So the Apple project at Virginia Tech may be a wonderful educational project, but commercial customers who have less interest in experimentation are more likely to pay specialists at Linux Networx, RLX Technologies, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Dell or Hewlett-Packard to plan the plumbing, package the software and plug in the cables. And those companies arenit going to rely on Apples.
You can read the full article at C|Netis Web site.