[rescue] E10k systems coming down in price

Devin L. Ganger devin at thecabal.org
Fri Jul 18 16:34:56 CDT 2003

On Fri, Jul 18, 2003 at 09:42:46AM -0700, Skeezics Boondoggle wrote:

> Those are the things that differentiate Solaris, along with other features
> in the kernel that allow for massive scalability.  Sun abandoned the
> "uniprocessor mode" vs. "multiprocessor mode" thing quite some time ago,
> so the Linux guys like to beat up on the fact that on single-user or even
> 1-4 way small SMPs that Linux is faster - and in some tests it certainly
> may be (context switch times, faster fork(), etc.)  However, get beyond
> 12-16 CPUs and it falls over, while Solaris is just starting to hit its
> stride.  It just doesn't make sense to cram all those high-end features 
> into the typical Linux distribution, but I expect that in time there will 
> be a Linux optimized for larger systems.

This is the conventional wisdom, but the recent kernel series is doing a
*lot* to improve the high-end scaling of Linux.  Linux Journal had an
extremely interesting article a few months back about some of the work that
SGI is doing with Linux on a 64-processor system and the amount of work
they were able to get out of it on real-world problems -- the equivalent
of 59 of the 64 processors.  Ain't bad at all.

Almost all of the code was going back to the kernel group, too.

With both SGI and IBM working on Linux for their high-end hardware, it
won't be long at all before it can handle big iron decently.

It would be nice to see Sun taking some notice of this and looking for
what innovations they can apply.  No product is so good that it can't
find room for improvement, and the Solaris kernel is so heavily
optimized for the high-end machines at this date...

Devin L. Ganger <devin at thecabal.org>
"Aikido is based around the central precept of letting an attack take its
natural course.  You, of course, don't want to impede that natural flow
by being in its way." -- overheard on the PyraMOO

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