[GE users] Execution hosts: Blades vs Individual Servers

Darin Perusich Darin.Perusich at cognigencorp.com
Tue Jul 29 13:13:16 BST 2008

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Neil Baker wrote:
> I was wondering if anyone could recommend a manufacturer and machine 
> type for our new grid?s execution hosts? 

I've been using systems from Penguin Computing in my cluster for about 6 
years with great success, specifically their Relion series of systems. 
If performance and raw CPU speed are what you're looking for they're 
typically first to market with the fastest chips when compared to other 
venders, at least the venders I've looked at. You can also custom order 
the systems however you'd like, I jack up the memory and drop the drives 
to run them diskless.

> I?ve heard that although 
> they don?t run as fast as 3GHz, they are in fact more powerful for 
> floating point calculation, so would they process the jobs faster even 
> though running slower?

This was a concern of mine initially until I got one and did some 
benchmarking. One of the main applications we run does nonlinear mixed 
effect modeling and basically lives in the floating point processor 
during execution and the performance gains were impressive.

I took a job with a run time of 3 hours 30 minutes on an Intel Xeon 
3.8Ghz systems and when I ran it on a dual-proc/dual-core Intel XEON 
5160 running at 3.00GHz the job only took 2 hours and 4 minutes. I ran 4 
instances of the same job, one/core, with no performance loss.

   From what I?ve read and various stats I?ve seen,
> benchmarks show how a Dual Core CPU is more powerful than a single core 
> machine for running one application (i.e. a game or a particular 
> benchmark), but I can?t seem to find any data on how well they work at 
> running one application (job) per CPU (i.e. 2 jobs on a dual core, or 4 
> jobs on a quad core).

Darin Perusich
Unix Systems Administrator
Cognigen Corporation
395 Youngs Rd.
Williamsville, NY 14221
Phone: 716-633-3463
Email: darinper at cognigencorp.com

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