HPC Wire, ACE Computers’ Massive Military Build Show Custom Computers Reign, here. One secret word … CustomOpenHaswellRacksWithSomeSIMDFPJuice. This idea is ready to go. Oh, the idea for those following along at home.
Get your broker dealer to build custom Colo Racks using open server. Act now and this could be ready by the time Broadwell ships. The broker dealer will do it provided the cost can be controlled, they get to label a server “BD-Fast-Racks,” and their clients get a little stickier. They need to get a guy who builds, tests, and ships production Haswell motherboards and a guy who builds racks. The clients will do it because their software performance sucks, cause they’re running Sandy Bridge Servers that were designed back sometime too close to when the Rolling Stones were recording Beggars Banquet, and they have just about squeezed all the low hanging microseconds of latency in the cross connects and gateways. Moreover if the Colo Rack designs are open sourced then clients have some mobility even though their software will potentially need a rewrite for performance tuning if they switch Rack platforms. The racks themselves should be designed for a Colo production life of about a year then you turn them over and sell the Racks cheap to the low latency Erlang guys, who pretty much need all the help they can get. You recover a little dough and you sleep well knowing that even if the low latency Erlang guys wake up and magically recode everything to competitive speed they’re still running a hardware a generation or two behind; worst case you got a bunch of smart Magoos with big balance sheet Jalopies racing you for that matching engine order slot, not too shabby right?
This trend toward custom is driven largely by organizations that require large numbers of workstations (desktops), massive computing power or both. Here’s why:
As the number of desktop manufacturers continues to dwindle, organizations are naturally nervous about a major buy from a company that they aren’t sure will be in business in another year.
When it comes to massive computing power, an off-the-shelf desktop isn’t going to have it. Yet, custom computer builders can now make workstations/desktops that have impressive computing capabilities with footprints not much bigger than off-the-shelf desktops and at a comparable cost.