[nSLUG] Wither workstations

Dop Ganger nslug at fop.ns.ca
Sun Feb 13 09:57:10 AST 2005

On Sat, 12 Feb 2005, George N. White III wrote:

> 1. Have any of you shared an office (not air-conditioned) with a recent
>     dual-processor G5 or Xeon or AMD workstation?  I suppose it could be
>     quite cozy in winter.

Not *quite* what you're looking for, but I had an HP DL360 (dual 3.4GHz
Xeons, I think) on my desk for an afternoon. Cozy isn't the word for it,
I think "stuffy" would be more apt. Also, I was really glad I had a set of
earplugs with me.

> 2. there is lots of info about using rackmount systems to build clusters
>     or for server farms, but not much about using them to replace
>     workstations.  Some cluster technology would be useful (central
>     management of updates, etc.).  I recall reading about some sites (e.g.,
>     stock exchanges) with very high density of workers that use rackmount
>     systems with graphics cards and special cabling to connect keyboards
>     and monitors.  In our case it will be hard enough getting enough
>     ports on the switch to accomodate doubling the number of
>     interfaces, so special cabling is not an option.

The problem I can see (with the video cabling, at least) is having
problems with signal fadeout, or having to buy signal boosters (which have
always caused problems at high resolutions in the past, but that problem
may be solved by now). Can't you just export a display back from the
cluster to run the software on a cheap local desktop? I think that Sun's
Grid Engine can handle balancing out the load for interactive use, sothat
may be worth a look.

Cheers... Dop.


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