[GE users] Followup project

iank ikaufman at ucsd.edu
Fri Aug 20 17:12:51 BST 2010

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On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM, jlb <jlb at salilab.org> wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Aug 2010 at 9:38am, andy wrote
>> Our customers are giving us figures which say that hardware,
>> electricity, cooling, administration, OS licenses, DRM system licenses
>> only make up one third of their costs. The remaining money goes into the
>> licenses of the software which runs in the grid. Not talking about the
>> labor costs for the engineers using the Grid. So can the license and
>> support costs of a DRM system have any cost saving potential when you
>> compare it with the value it adds to the bulk of hardware in a data
>> center?
> I think the operative word in the above is "our customers".  That's
> obviously a biased sample.  In academia, e.g., the situation is quite
> different.  I run a cluster with over 3000 cores (about to expand by
> another 1000 or so) used by many PIs.  Our software licensing fees are
> practically zero -- the bulk of the software we run is either open-source
> or in-house.  Our support fees are minimal.  We don't pay for space,
> power, or cooling (well the PIs do, indirectly, but not in proportion to
> how much we use).  The vast bulk of our money goes towards nodes.  Why?
> It is simply very, very hard to get the PIs to spend money on anything
> other than cores.
> I'm not at all trying to diminish the value of SGE and it's commercially
> supported model.  I'm just pointing out that there are some sizeable users
> for whom the paid version just isn't viable.

I have to agree. Coming from the institution where ROCKS is developed,
most of the software used on clusters here is either Open Source or
developed by the students and researchers utilizing those systems. We
pay for space, heat and cooling, but at a nominal fee. Our biggest
expense is support in terms of FTEs and hardware.

If we have to move to paid versions of SGE, we will most likely move
to Torque/Maui or some other freely available scheduler.


Ian Kaufman
Research Systems Administrator
UC San Diego, Jacobs School of Engineering ikaufman AT ucsd DOT edu


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