April 13, 2004

Clarke's Law

From Slashdot comes this story on High Performance Computing: bq. Linux clustering was touted as the next big thing by many vendors last week at ClusterWorld Conference & Expo 2004. But supercomputer vendor Cray Inc. scoffed at the notion of putting Linux clusters in the high-performance computing (HPC) category. The article links to a quote from Cray's Chief Technology Officer Dr. Paul Terry who said: bq. "At best, clusters are a loose collection of unmanaged, individual, microprocessor-based computers." bq. Businesses shouldn't expect supercomputer performance from Linux clusters, Terry warned. bq. "Cluster vendors would have you believe that their performance is the linear sum of each of their respective GFLOPS [Giga Floating Point Operations Per Second]," he said. "Most cluster [experts] know now that users are fortunate to get more than 8% of the peak performance in sustained performance." bq. Linux clusters do have a place. "For applications that require low performance, they are a cheaper solution," said Terry. And Clarke's Law you ask??? bq. "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong." Posted by DaveH at April 13, 2004 11:14 AM