server recommendations?

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server recommendations?

#1 Post by drewa » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:32 pm

I approached our IT department about getting a dedicated server for ROMS runs. They want to know what type of system they should start looking into, so I thought that I would ask y'all what has and hasn't worked well for you. We're not looking for an exotic server (mainframe, cluster etc) but something that we can put in our existing server room.

Specifically, I'd like to know:
what processors have worked best and how many
how much memory (and which is more important faster chip or memory)
disk (SATA or SCSI)
is Linux is best with command line or GUI (does it matter?).


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#2 Post by kate » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:02 pm

Most any Linux should come with a GUI these days. If there is a terminal for the sys admins, that might be command line, but it doesn't matter.

The amount of memory depends on your application. How big is your grid? Are you going to expand it to fill the processing power? How many tracers? Something like my NEP grid with 224x640x42 grid points takes 5-6 GB until you start adding the biology variables and decide it needs more vertical resolution. Our newest system has 4 GB/core so memory is not limiting for me, given that the smallest node has 2 dual core chips (4 cores) with 16 GB of memory. Say you need to save 1 GB for the operating system.

What compiler you decide on can also be important. Our big Linux cluster has PGI, Sun, and Pathscale compilers. I can't run with PGI and Sun gives bizarre results, so I'm down to just Pathscale. I've heard good things about the Intel compiler, but you'd want Intel chips for that.

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#3 Post by jivica » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:31 am

From my point of view of building small linux cluster for ROMS + WRF I have to say that I am not happy with performance on quad cores connected with 1Gb switch...
I have HP Blade 460c (2x quad cores 2.8G) with 4G of RAM and HP procurve switch.. well it turns out that running on 2 blades (2x8CPUs) is faster than on 3 blades (3x8) or 4x8.. think bottleneck is 1G net, infiband should make some gain *but is like 500-600$ per node + switch 6000$...* ...
dual xeons or opterons scale better, at least I heard that..
Hope it helps, should think of performance, cost, heating dissipation and storage space before getting stuff..

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