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Sun Microsystems

Sun Enters Grid-Computing Rental Market 275

mOoZik writes "BBC News is reporting that Sun Microsystems has launched a pay-as-you-go service which will allow customers requiring huge computing power to rent it by the hour. "Why build your own grid when you can use ours for a buck an hour?" asks Sun's COO Jonathan Schwartz."
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Sun Enters Grid-Computing Rental Market

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  • $1 per CPU hour (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bryan Ischo ( 893 ) * on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:08PM (#11553344) Homepage
    Note that the cost is $1 per CPU hour. This means that if your application uses 1,000 CPUs, it will cost you $1,000 per hour. Since the target applications are large problems that are not easy to solve without huge CPU resources, the cost for most applications will be quite a lot.

    And yet, it will probably be very cost effective for certain applications, where the cost of building and maintaining your own computing grid would be prohibitive.

    Somehow the thought of the world moving back towards "mainframe" style computing with truly "central processors" and everyone with a terminal in their home is comforting in a nostalgic sort of way.

    • by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:18PM (#11553502) Homepage Journal
      Damn, I was just about to host a 1,000 person q3a tourney for a cool 50$. =/
    • Because its Sun... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by suso ( 153703 )
      ...there will probably be several research businesses and institutions that will be tricked into thinking that they need to use this pay by the hour grid instead of making their own which would be more cost effective.
      • by CommieOverlord ( 234015 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:38PM (#11553775)
        Then those businesses/institutions didn't their research. No, this isn't effective (for cost or other reasons) for all cases, but there are some cases where it will be. You can't blame Sun if customers failed to go with the solution that best suited their needs.
      • I doubt there are many upper level CTO's (this is a CTO decision) who are not knowledgable enough to realize that this service is only useful if you are not planning to create your own system because you do not need such a long-term device.

        We are not talking mom-n-pop shop here...we are talking higher end. So a university who decides to use this is probably doing so becuase it is just one or two short-term projects...but if that university plans on doing many future computing projects (not unlikely) the
      • Imagine the electricity, support costs, and staff for maintaining your own cluster. If you aren't keeping it running tasks 24/7/365, renting the time from Sun could be very cost effective. They are basically renting out their farm of thousands of CPUs as a compute hotel...by the hour.
      • by LurkerXXX ( 667952 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @05:18PM (#11554937)
        Only if they are going to make good use of your own system. For others Sun's deal will be very cost effective.

        Suppose you do some fancy quarterly statistics/forcasting analysis that take 20 hours on that 1,000 CPU cluster( which would have taken you 833 days to run on a single CPU machine). That might be your only major need for intense CPU power.

        That's when you want to use these clusters. For the price of $20,000 each quarter you can avoid the cost of a 1000 cpu cluster (which will be several hundred thousand dollars at least), plus building space, maintenance, cooling, power, administration cost, etc, etc, etc. Plus SUN will likely be upgrading their clusters regularly, and that would be an additional cost to you to keep upgrading your own cluster. Sun's deal makes a lot of sense for occasional use high intensity jobs.

        If you have enough researchers doing enough things to keep one busy most of the time, then yes, you are right, it would be cost effective to build your own. But there are going to be a lot of places that don't have such a high continual need.

    • by Wiz ( 6870 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:22PM (#11553567) Homepage
      I can see where this is going.....

      1. Charge $1 per hour of CPU time on your cluster.
      2. Lower the speed of your processors.
      3. Runtime of tasks increase. So your $1 does less.
      4. PROFIT!!!!

      Cool, no ???? step! :)
      • Haha, how cynical! But given they're in competition and not collusion with IBM (for now) plus the 'traditional solutions', perhaps that is second order in their minds.

        Where this is going of course, as the article touches on, is the commoditisation of raw computing power, making it a product like iron ore, coal or oil. Genericism will, IMHO, be a really interesting force behind evolution of computational techniques over the next 10 years.

        With genericism perhaps there can be no monopoly in provision o
    • Re:$1 per CPU hour (Score:3, Informative)

      by macklin01 ( 760841 )

      Indeed!

      Our research group recently bought a small cluster (around 40 processors), and as the project moved forward, it found that finding a good place to put it with sufficient cooling and power infrastructure was quite a bit more costly than originally assumed.

      The idea of renting a lot of computing power without bothering with these issues is very attractive. -- Paul

    • Note that the cost is $1 per CPU hour.

      Do you know that because you actually RTFA, or did you just look at the banner ads that have been running on /. since before the story was posted?

      (Anyone else find it funny that the news posting on /. announcing this seemed to come after it was already being advertised on /.?)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      All of the software required to be written in Java. End of discussion.
    • Re:$1 per CPU hour (Score:2, Interesting)

      by evilviper ( 135110 )

      Somehow the thought of the world moving back towards "mainframe" style computing with truly "central processors" and everyone with a terminal in their home is comforting in a nostalgic sort of way.

      The world has been heading this way for quite some time now.

      VNC has single-handedly caused a huge come-back in remote computing. Projects like the LTSP and Sun's thin-terminals have helped as well. But none of those things ever seemed a candidate to replace a computer on your desk, because of performance, and

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does that mean spammers don't need the grid of zombie windoze boxes? So sun is competing w/ msft.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Spamers don't need it because:
      1. Their grid of windows boxes is bigger than all of sun.
      2. Their network is Free (and people said Free Software doesn't run on windows).
  • advert (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sashang ( 608223 )
    haha the front page advert made the news
  • Woo-hoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Saint Aardvark ( 159009 ) * on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:09PM (#11553352) Homepage Journal
    Eat my SETI@Home dust!
  • by anakin876 ( 612770 ) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .678nikana.> on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:10PM (#11553371)
    imagine a beowulf cluster of these.....oh wait it is already a grid. hmmm. Actually this could be really cool. I wonder how many companies will want to use it though. I think the security concerns (handing Sun your information, the possibility of someone else recovering the information at a later date and so on) may scare some companies off.
    • Most companies, unless they are pharm or bio, won't really have any use for this. It's the labs that are folding DNA or running weather pattern predicitons that would have use for Sun's service.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Good for movies too. Building a rendering cluster each time you make a movie is expensive.
        • Good for movies too. Building a rendering cluster each time you make a movie is expensive.

          Depends on how you look at it. Weta Digital spent a fortune on a render farm for LOTR, but that money got recouped on the film, and they now rent on time on the render farm to universities, research groups, and businesses. If you really need that powerful cluster now you may as well build your own and then sell off time on it at 90c per CPU hour when you're done and it's not under heavy load anymore.

          Jedidiah.
      • Most companies, unless they are pharm or bio, won't really have any use for this.

        Financial mining and oil companies will have a HUGE use for this: mining for geology, oil for fluids and financial pricing, financials, obviously, for financial pricing (ranging from neural nets to weather).

        So once we've stripped out pharma, bio, oil, mining, financials... there aren't many large company industries left! Plus, I'm really interested how academia will take to this.
      • Depending on how they bill this could be very usefull for chip simulation as well. I setup a 12 node cluster at a previous job and we had jobs that took 10-15 hours. Although I have to admit that a major factor in the size of the cluster were the simulation software licenses.

    • Finance is a big user of grid technology, and also of buying in capacity like this. There are distinct peaks of requirement during the day (close of business of the different international markets) where calculation demand spikes. The rest of the day demand is limited to intra-day valuations, ad-hoc pricing etc. which is of a much lower computational volume than the big market close 're-value everything' runs.
  • by chris09876 ( 643289 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:11PM (#11553384)
    I wonder what will happen to this technology. It does seem like it could be useful for a number of applications (university research, for example). If you had a big problem that you spent a lot of time preparing, and then needed a bunch of processing power, this seems like the ideal solution. It certainly is cheaper than building your own giant cluster... but as the first poster pointed out, you pay per CPU per hour, not just per hour.
    • Why should I pay SUN, if government gives me access to Cray for free to do my research?
    • by k98sven ( 324383 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:27PM (#11553649) Journal
      I wonder what will happen to this technology. It does seem like it could be useful for a number of applications (university research, for example).

      Actually, I think corporate research would be much more of a market. For one, if you have an academic department doing the kind of research which requires heavy computing, then their need is probably going to be pretty constant, and you'll be better off building your own grid. And the ones who don't need that power on a day-to-day basis are usually picking up the slack on the university grids. Academia has a long and established tradition of collaboration and pooling common resources, from telescopes to particle accelerators.

      Corporate research is a better target, where you might, for instance, need big computational resources for a certain project or contract, but not on a day-to-day basis.

      • I dunno, this thing sounds perfect for our University (UofL). We have two "super computers", a newer Operton based one, and a much older IBM big iron server (supposedly the same kind as the one that ran Deep Blue). Both super computers are open to all computer science students as a means for centralized storage and backup, and for compiling bigger projects, but other than that, they go unused (as far as I know). I believe if they ever hit a big enough research project that required more CPU power than what
  • by adamruck ( 638131 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:12PM (#11553407)
    Isn't the point of super computers, and clusters to do something really fast. This means having a custom system, and custom code, custom network setup, etc, for your problem.

    If you can solve your problem in an hour anyway, I dont think its worth the time to have a grid computer do it. You might as well just run it on your own system, however big.
    • If you can solve your problem in an hour anyway, I dont think its worth the time to have a grid computer do it. You might as well just run it on your own system, however big.

      But if you can solve your problem in an hour on a grid, what is the point of having your own system for the rest of the time?
      • Ok lets assume you have a small/medium size problem.

        -rent a dedicated server for a month for 150 bucks, have control over your system, solve your problem as many times as you want, etc.

        -pay a dollar/PERPROCESSOR/PERHOUR for a one time shot, while sharing resources with everyone else, while not having control over the system, etc.

        Im thinking the first option would be really worth it.

        The only situation where a service like this would be useful is if someone needs a HUGE amount of processing power, but onl
        • And you answered the reason for such a thing at the end of your post. Sure it's cheaper to rent a server for 150$ a month, but you're only going to get a recent pentium 4, maybe a xeon or a opteron. You could spend a little more and get a much bigger system, but this is around what you'll get, tops.

          What if you wanted to do a research project on the fluid mechanics of the jetstream? (completely hypothetical, and just as an example of an operation that could be parallelized for speed). Your little 1-2 proc
    • by Roadkills-R-Us ( 122219 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:36PM (#11553756) Homepage
      This means having a custom system, and custom code, custom network setup, etc, for your problem.

      Not true at all. Supercomputers have been used like the Sun Grid will be used for years. Theyve simply never been quite this cheap.

      Even with custom software, you can develop it on a much smaller grid (two computers), develop your data set, then copy it all to Sun's grid and run it with the real data. Again, this has been done for decades with old style supercomputers.

      I recall developing a FORTRAN program on my university's Cyber (early 1980s) on my personal account (we got a certain amount per quarter to do whatever we wanted with), then running it with the full data set on an IBM mainframe through a timesharing company for my customer. This paid for a quarter or two of schooling. 8^)
    • If you can solve your problem in an hour anyway...

      You rent as many cpu-hours as you need. Need it by tomorrow, rent more CPUs; next week, fewer CPUs.

      Also, this grid is running Solaris 10 on various Sun servers. I'm sure they can provide a cluster of Sun Fire 25Ks if you need to rent a few teraflops. When those teraflops aren't needed, their Grid Engine puts other tasks on those 25Ks, so they never go to waste.

  • "Why build one?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dilvish_the_damned ( 167205 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:12PM (#11553413) Journal
    "Why build your own grid when you can use ours for a buck an hour?"
    So I can charge 90 cents an hour.
    • If other companies enter this market, the prices will reach an equilibrium. Sun is setting the first bid at $1/cpu-hour. Also, if your $0.90 service sucks (you don't have a reliable power grid, good storage, etc.), it won't matter that you are cheaper.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1- Insert coin here. $1 for each CPU per hour.
    2- Insert DVD containing program in the tray on your right.
    3- Please wait...
  • As I loaded Slashdot, there was an ad at the top for...
    you guessed it...
    The Sun Grid, available for $1/cpu-hr...

    Are you sure Slashdot isn't selling advertising space disguised as news items?
  • by hey ( 83763 )
    Does anybody know how you upload a job, get the results back, etc.
  • by geomon ( 78680 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:15PM (#11553468) Homepage Journal
    "Why build your own grid when you can use ours for a buck an hour?" asks Sun's COO Jonathan Schwartz."

    I feel a little wierd paying for my grid computing with venison.

    It must just be me.

    • Will megabucks per second be a measure of aggregate CPU power that might be used to manipulate libraries of congress?
      • This reminds me of an old saw:

        A billion years is unimaginable,
        A billion stars is unfathomable,
        But to Congress, a billion bucks is steak dinner for their contributors.

        or was it:

        A billion bucks here, a billion bucks there, pretty soon your talking about real meat!

    • Hey, if they have CPU's and want venison, and you have venison and need CPU's, isn't that how capitalism is supposed to work?
    • Whoa! Given the huge herds of deer we keep chasing out of our yard (massive nearby development having removed their quaint, forest homes), I could get quite a bit of free computing at a buck an hour!

      How do you send medium sized animals via PayPal, though?
    • Q: What's the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts?

      A: Beer nuts are $1.79. Deer nuts are under a buck.

      Thank you, I'm here all week.
  • Another Way (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpottedKuh ( 855161 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:17PM (#11553496)
    From TFA:

    Mr Schwartz ran a demonstration of the service, showing how data could be processed in a protein folding experiment.

    Of course, if your experiment is cool enough and academia-related, there are always other ways to get computing power. A similar chemistry experiment was performed using grid-computing in Canada, utilizing computing power from universities all across the country. http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~ciss/ [ualberta.ca]

    Now, granted this wouldn't be applicable to a lot of businesses, which is Sun's target audience. But the CISS project has a cooler name :)
  • by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:19PM (#11553512) Homepage
    I'd be very interested in knowing how much it would be to render something like a Pixar all-CGI movie on their grid.

    For all those who keep asking about cost-effectiveness... don't forget that when you rent from a utility grid, you don't have to worry about obsolescence - it's someone else's problems. You're not throwing out a bunch of P3s because P4s are available and better price/performance when the second project comes along. Renting CPU time is an operating expense. Running your own compute grid is both an operating and a capital expense.
  • Ya Think??! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by handmedowns ( 628517 )
    Considering these ads have only been on slashdot all day long..

    I love how a good deal of the slashdot community are supporters of open software and standards.. and yet every day that I read a story on slashdot, about how so and so country / state / organization is implementing foss, right SMACK in the middle of the page is an add from MS on the "Facts" about TCO for Windows vs Linux.. or "Facts" about Performance..

    Should be "News for Nerds, Irony that matters.."

  • by sbaker ( 47485 ) * on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:25PM (#11553617) Homepage
    I can buy a pretty decent computer with a modern CPU and lots of RAM for under $500 - maybe as little as $300.

    So unless I need my results very soon after posing the problem, I'm better off spending $500 bucks on a PC and running my problem for 20 days than I am buying 500 CPU-hours from Sun and getting the answer back very quickly.

    But Sun must have to schedule their system - and you have to go through the grief of sending your program to them, getting it to work on their grid, paying for it, etc, etc. So you know it's not going to be available on-demand, *instantly* - so you might have to wait several hours before they can schedule your task. This facility is only going to be useful for things that would take an eternity to run on a single PC.

    Even if I need the results quickly, unless this is a one-time problem, I'd be better off buying a pile of cheap PC's than using Sun's facility. If I need to run a 100 CPU/hour problem often, I can justify buying a $10,000 20 PC cluster for just 100 runs.

    Bun if Sun's niche is big problems whose results are needed quickly *AND* which are not run frequently - then there is still a problem because you just know it's going to be quite a bit of grief to get your code ported over to Solaris (or whatever they are running) - to get your data onto their disk drives - to get the results back. If you only run this program once - then that overhead will kill you - and you'd *still* be better off buying your own systems.

    FWIW: IBM offer a very similar service - with very similar problems over pricing.
    • by Necroman ( 61604 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:58PM (#11554062)
      I've done some work in the HPC (High Performance Computing) field, and for a lot of the applications in research, you only need that much CPU power once. I did some coding that I had run on NERSC [slashdot.org], and I can see the use of this for private companies (NERSC is owned by the Department of Energy).

      This is what I've seen of people doing research type work. The researchers will have a smaller cluster always available to then (2 to 16 node setup), that they use for all their initial development of the application. But when they need to run the program for real, doing their full calculation, they would farm it out to some big system like NERSC. The scheduling systems these kinda of systems have tend to do a really good job at scheduling workloads, and the wait tends to be minimal.

      I think this is a good idea for companies that don't want to build their own grid. The cost of the computers might not be a lot, but if you have an application that requires a lot of communication between systems, you need a really good interconnect system (such as InfiniBand [slashdot.org]) cost a lot of money to setup. You could spend as much on a good interconnect system as you do on all your computers, if not more.
    • Are you sure?

      You haven't factored in fast networking (IB, Myrinet, good GigE, switches), maintainence, space, electricity, A/C, security, storage, backup, manhours. Clusters generally use Xeon/Opteron/Itanium, wondered why?


    • "It's too expensive."

      You aren't their target customer.
    • So unless I need my results very soon after posing the problem, I'm better off spending $500 bucks on a PC and running my problem for 20 days than I am buying 500 CPU-hours from Sun and getting the answer back very quickly.

      or maybe you are doing a complex mathematical problem that needs to store lots of intermediate steps in memory. even if you don't care about how long it takes to run, there are some applications that will never run on cheap p3's even if you give them until the end of time.

      that's the m
  • by gUmbi ( 95629 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:25PM (#11553618)
    So Sun's finally found a use for all of their spare inventory.

    It's funny how old ideas become new again though...Is Jonathon Schwartz/Sun trying to become the new Ross Perot/EDS?
    • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @04:25PM (#11554403) Homepage
      So Sun's finally found a use for all of their spare inventory.

      That sounds about right. Scientific time sharing hasn't been a good business model since 1980. If you need heavy compute power, you get your own cluster. If there was a viable business model in this space, hosting companies would be selling this as a service. They already have the right infrastructure.

      For a while, it looked like commercial render farms [respower.com] might be a viable business. But today's stats at ResPower read "Running frames: 3, Waiting frames 0", so only 3 of their 500+ computers are active right now.

      The "use spare cycles on other people's PCs" model works fine, if you're a spammer or an adware/spyware company. But nobody seems to be paying out money to home users for spare cycles.

      • If there was a viable business model in this space, hosting companies would be selling this as a service. They already have the right infrastructure.

        Not quite, as they aren't running an N1 Grid like Sun is. From what their web site says, I estimate they are running a Grid Engine allocating out to Containers on their servers. That means you can rent as much or as little of their servers as you need, and receive complete isolation from other people's tasks.

  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:27PM (#11553636) Homepage Journal
    Sun offers energy by the hour

    The Sun has launched a pay-as-you-go service which will allow customers requiring huge solar power to rent it by the hour.

    Solar power costs users $1 (53p) for an hour's worth of light and heating power on land covered by Sun.

    So-called fusion reaction is the latest buzz phrase in a solar system which believes that solar energy is as important a commodity as hardware and software.

    The Sun likened fusion reactions to the development of electricity.

    'Buck an hour'

    The system could mature in the same way utilities such as electricity and water have developed, said the Sun.

    "Why generate your own power when you can use ours for a buck an hour?" he asked in an address launching Sun's quarterly solar eclipse event in the center of the Solar System.

    The star will have to persuade the entire galaxy to adopt a new model but it said it already had interest from planets in the milkyway, andromeda and B53 stellar clusters.

    Some of them want to book capacity of more than 5,000 TeraWatts each, Sun said.

    Mr Sun ran a demonstration of the service, showing how fusion could be performed on elements.

    Hundreds of atoms were fused simultaneously, generating energy for a few seconds each.

    Sigh....too much time and an agile mind.

  • What is THE CPU ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nomad63 ( 686331 )
    by means of $1 per CPU hour, are they referring to a p4 or a sparc processor ? At what speeds ? This can make a huge difference how quickly your CPU intensive problem gets solved.
  • This is so retro! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhobbs ( 659809 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:32PM (#11553699)
    The Seventies came back in fashion, why not in computing.
  • by gotr00t ( 563828 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @03:32PM (#11553701) Journal
    Does anyone notice how on the BBC article, both the pictures on the page have almost nothing to do with the article itself? The picture of a guy in a lab coat taking his glasses off is kind of a stretch, and the other picture, some old IC's, is totally irrelevant, considering the caption is about how sun offers tons of computing power, and virtually no modern microprocessors have the DIP package anymore.

    I think that BBC should stop using stock images if they don't actually have images that pretain to the story. I mean, this isn't some high school jornalism class.

  • At $744/month (24 * 31) you can buy at least three of the best Intel or AMD CPUs in a dedicated server along with the rest of the system including disk storage. I used to render movies. They were so I/O intensive that it did not work to have the data - including a lot of photographic textures - all live "on the network". It had to be on the local disk.

    Bruce

  • 1. 50 years of rented computing history
    2. Add a Buzzword and slap "NEW" on it.
    3. Press release bonaza!
    4. Profit?
  • Can you imagine renting a Beowulf cluster of those babies?! That'd be awesome!

  • An Internet beowulf (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wikinerd ( 809585 )
    Now we need a Linus Torvalds version 2.0 to build a free open-source P2P Beowulf cluster over the Internet.

    Imagine playing Doom 3 on a P-II, with the graphics being rendered by an Athlon64 somewhere in the Internet.

    Now that many computers are connected to the Internet with fast DSL connections, it would be very beneficial for all if someone could start such a project.

    The basic software already exists and it is in the public domain: MPI [anl.gov].

    I explain this idea in more detail on my blog [wikinerds.org].
    • Grid computing tends to have relatively high latency between nodes, usually, (and worldwide ones are obviously even worse in that respect) and quite small bandwidth, which limits its usefullness to a relatively small category of problems. (think SETI@Home kind of problems: not a lot of data to transmit back and forth, loads of cpu power required)
      And interactive real-time rendering in a game definitely isn't one of those, to even get a compressed video at 720x480 resolution, compressed, (DVD Video) you need

    • Do you think a company with a dataset full of trade secrets would run their job on your Internet P2P Beowulf cluster?
  • How can we submit our programs? Punchcards are OK I guess, but do they have magnetic tape?
  • Last night, my elder Computer Architecture professor was talking about how come computers he worked on in the 1970's could go for well over $5000 an hour.

    "Today, by comparison, it's essentially free" he said.
  • by alw53 ( 702722 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @04:07PM (#11554173)


    I can remember blowing $200 per minute on the Univac 1108 at Georgia Tech, when my program got into an infinite loop.
  • Our datacenter costs include UPS cost, cooling costs, rack space, operators, 24x7 on call techs, backups, off site backup storage, which multiple the CPU box cost by several factors.

    The current big users of this are financial institutions running monte carlo analysis of stock and commodities markets - they use thousands of CPUs at a time, every day.

    The other nice feature to this, is you get glass-house data center capability, but can turn it off, which is not as easy with your own lease agreements, et
  • by deadline ( 14171 ) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @04:22PM (#11554374) Homepage
    Having a pile of servers does not mean you have a grid. To use the electrical analogy, there are different electrical grids that are not compatible i.e. European and US electrical grids. If you plug into the wrong electrical gird your device does not work. The same is true for computer grids. they are designed to service specific applications. Getting all the details right is hard -- that is what the Globus project is all about.

    Now what IBM has been doing is not Grid. You basically rent a machine for a certain amount of time. You actually start with a small test cluster, then when it works, your "image" is then transfered to the real thing.

    Grids are designed so that everything you need for your code is on the grid you are using (including data). On-demand is renting cycles.

  • Sun are entering this marketplace late in the game. Not only that, but the pricing of $1 per CPU hour isn't even close to competitive in the current market. There are plenty of vendors that offer grid capacity on a 'peak demand' basis for a lot less than $1 per CPU hour.
  • http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1758758,00.a s p
    is the article I read

    I don't think 'betting the farm' on on-demand computing is a good idea for sun. The market is there and has money, but I don't think a company like Sun can sustain itself on almost exclusively this.

    IBM does this with their servers, but if they didn't have a bunch of customers also buying the systems whole working to help subsidize research and development of the servers, not to mention manufacturing the systems in volume, the reven
  • A lot of people assume "CPU power is everything!" but that's not really true. Questions that haven't been answered, that are absolutely vital to how good a deal this is:

    How much RAM per process?
    How much connectivity between systems? (Gigabit switch per rack? Better?)
    How many available disk space, and how fast can it be accessed?
    And, of course, how *fast* are the CPUs?

    I'd want a LOT more info before I even considered using that service, and I just can't find where the info is listed.
  • check-out-the-clip-art-scientist dept I think you mean "stock photo."
  • I'm running a fluid-dynamics simulation for a super-secret aircraft/submarine/time-machine. Can I guarantee the security environment for my processing? No? I guess I'll be building my own cluster, thankyouverymuch.

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