Cray CX1

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Dodoid
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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby Dodoid » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:35 pm

uunix wrote:
Dodoid wrote:Ehh, if I wanted a bunch of standard PCs connected together I would build my own cluster out of modern hardware, not buy some weird Cray from the mid 2000s.

I don't know Dodoid, this thing has some animal magmatism, you could quite easily get some mini foot stools placed around it and viola.. a cray with a proper badge.

I still fancy this beast http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SGI-4700-Server-256-Cores-128-x-Itanium-9040-1-6Ghz-18M-Cache-1TB-memory-/172455350954?hash=item282723d2aa:g:9O0AAOSw~OdVesuT totally pointless, and you'd need your own renewable power source, but I bet it would be fun.

The question with this [the 4700] I have is, could I replace my house heating with some form of ducting and have a super computer to play with at the same time and reduce my gas bill to next to nothing? If not I will have to continue with lottery prediction program.


Well, I think furnaces take cold air in, heat it up, and blow it out, same as a computer, so possibly...
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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby guardian452 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:37 pm

Not sure about in the UK but in midwestern USA gas is a lot cheaper. Either a gas furnace or heat pump is typical for single family homes. (of course, I live in an apartment with electric water heater and heat exchangers so pay about $10/mo in winter for heat because of a small unit, well insulated building)

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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby uunix » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:03 pm

I pay £160 per month for both Gas/Electricity.. not sure without getting paper work out, the split, but I run a lot of electrical stuff. £160, nearly £200 usd?
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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby guardian452 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:38 pm

I pay about 60 usd average, can be a bit over 100 in the summer with AC. the $10 is just for heating not counting hot water use. I put CTs on some of the appliance breakers a while back for a little metering project. (My same software we use with EVSEs).

Plus our electricity is stupid cheap around here. Just checked my bill from last month... $0.09/kwh

Gas is so much cheaper it more than makes up for energy going out the flue, whereas resistive heat is 100% efficient by definition.

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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby spiroyster » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:00 am

Dodoid wrote:Ehh, if I wanted a bunch of standard PCs connected together I would build my own cluster out of modern hardware, not buy some weird Cray from the mid 2000s.

Well yes, these days, but back then blades were not that common. ergo, Something with multiple nodes, all connected with something like infini-band (top-notch back then, can't remember who was in the lead at this point, infini-band or ethernet :)) occupying a fraction of the space and a single (maybe 2 if redundant) power socket for brute force number crunching (the 'cloud' was still condensing then) was quite appealling. I'm hoping the OS would have been optimised for said hardware too, i.e probably a bit more difficult to get Windows HPC running on some sort of Franken-beowulf-cluster than dedicated hardware (I dunno? can this be done?).

Agree though, based on its functionality I would pay approx 500 of my english poundsies. With that cray logo (call me shallow) a 1000. It would probably cost near that to ship it so unless it magically appears somewhere in the middle of the Somerset levels. This thread is the closest I'll get. :cry:

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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby guardian452 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:46 am

spiroyster wrote:
Dodoid wrote:Ehh, if I wanted a bunch of standard PCs connected together I would build my own cluster out of modern hardware, not buy some weird Cray from the mid 2000s.

Well yes, these days, but back then blades were not that common. ergo


It's not that old. There were blade chassis from dell and others, the poweredge m1000e would have been contemporary. It's from 2009, not early/mid 2000s.

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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby spiroyster » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:12 am

guardian452 wrote:
spiroyster wrote:
Dodoid wrote:Ehh, if I wanted a bunch of standard PCs connected together I would build my own cluster out of modern hardware, not buy some weird Cray from the mid 2000s.

Well yes, these days, but back then blades were not that common. ergo


It's not that old. There were blade chassis from dell and others, the poweredge m1000e would have been contemporary. It's from 2009, not early/mid 2000s.

I dunno, 7 years is a quite a long time in my book. Not vintage, but definitely old (tis a very fast paced life these days :arrow: )

I was refering to deskside blade servers (aka personal clusters, not rackmount like the dell) primarily. The cray is from 2009 too I believe. I have a Nexxus 4K (very early 'Personal cluster, i.e deskside blade server) which is 2007 (I think its a prototype since its manufacture date predates the info brochure for it, and its full of ES stuff?). And there is an Orion cluster from 2006. These are the only 'deskside' blade servers I know off (non-rackable ... no pun intended :lol: ) unless there are any others?

Part of the appeal of these systems was you could have a multi-node blade server in a small space in a space that wasn't a server room. You don't need a rack, call it semi-big iron.

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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby guardian452 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:12 pm

I see the hobby appeal now, but I have a hard time picturing a scenario (when it was new) where you need a blade cluster and have the resources for one, but can't spare some rack space in the closet.

There was some discussion here about this machine when it was new but I can't be arsed to search for it.

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Re: Cray CX1

Unread postby spiroyster » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:11 am

I can't speak for others, but I work in AEC CAD, and certainly with some customers there was interest. At one point I was involved in a PoC, migrating some of our calculation engines to OpenMPI for use on clusters (the PoC was implemented on a beowulf of two Dell Optiplexs at the time), with the look that we would be reselling personal clusters to certain customers who saw it advantageous to have (monies for us a resellers, plus providing the bespoke software solution for said hardware). Yes the idea never reached fruition, markets changed, hardware got better in smaller boxes etc. This was before the CX1 came out. As I said the CX1 wasn't the first, but may very well have been the last? The CX1 was also interesting because it took GPGPU's, which basically ran circles around CPU's at the time in terms of parallelisation (which is what something like this is all about). We never got one at work, and project was dropped, however a few years later I couldn't believe my eyes when a Nexxus turned up at a 'localish' recycling centre.

We can't dictate to customers how to setup their internal networks, and for whatever reason the idea of a 'personal' workhorse sat in the office or lab to run calcs seemed to appeal to them (there was certainly interest). Biochemistry was also a target audience for this.

Basically anything involving Finite Element Analysis.

Checking emails, doing some word processing, browsing the internet (99% of what most people do with computers)... of course something like this is overkill.


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