Sweating a little
Now that China topped the list with homegrown chips.
Along with its Knights Landing chips landing, Intel has unveiled its first implementation of the Open HPC environment. The Intel HPC Orchestrator is a validated software stack designed to give big iron admins the kind of out-of-the-box support more familiar to the enterprise server customer. It wraps up the Open HPC software …
"Intel cites a supporting IDC study that says system software is the most expensive piece of putting together an HPC system, at nearly 30 per cent compared to the 20 per cent of cost in the hardware."
That's funny, the last Intel-based HPC cluster I procured (not quite top 500 but just below) had system software that cost almost nothing. We used CentOS, Open Grid Scheduler and other reliable, proven opens-source solutions and spent a much smaller % up-front getting help to design and integrate it. The only ongoing licence costs were for the Intel Compiler and some proprietary scientific applications ("codes" in the domain-specific jargon), but these don't really count as "system software" and were a tiny % of the overall cost. If your HPC systems people or their managers are spending 30% of the cluster cost on system software I would politely suggest you get new people!
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