[rescue] SGI, Origin 200, and speed?

Patrick Finnegan pat at computer-refuge.org
Wed Apr 28 21:57:25 CDT 2004

On Wednesday 28 April 2004 20:55, Dave McGuire wrote:
> On Apr 28, 2004, at 9:52 PM, Micah R L wrote:
> >>   Read my lips:  IT BECOMES ONE COMPUTER. :)
> >>
> >>   If you put a disk in the second chassis, it will show up as a
> >> disk ON THE OTHER SCSI BUS.  Get it?
> >>
> >>   You will have one computer with four SCSI buses.  Two ethernet
> >> interfaces.  Six PCI slots.  One copy of IRIX on one system disk.
> >
> > That has got to be the coolest thing I have ever heard of.
>    Yes.  Go order your Origin200s.  You will love them.

Sounds a bit like the Sequent NUMA-Q based system we had at work, which 
I bought/resold.  It was a PeeCee arch, but it let you connect up to 5 
or 6 "quads" together to make a pretty massive x86 box.  A quad had 4 
PIII Xeon procs in it, with up to 4GB of ram each, and 8 or so PCI 
slots.  Designed to run Dynix (and came with that installed) but could 
also run WinNT (ick) or Linux (more useful than NT).  The process 
scheduling on Linux doesn't quite work right with NUMA-Q, as it didn't 
schedules processes on the memory that they were directly attached to, 
but it was still pretty damn usable.  Our machines had four PIII-450 
Xeons and 4GB RAM in each quad, and ended up being a (quite usable) 
eight-way machine with 8GB ram. 

I ended up selling it because it ended up being worth more on eBay than 
I could justify keeping it for.  It would have been quite cool if it 
was maxed out to 24 procs and 24GB ram (perhaps with the 700MHz version 
of the machine).

It's x86-based, but not quite a PC.

However, it's more of a PC than my friend's 32-way PPro-based NCR 
Worldmark 5100s.  Those Don't Run Microsoft OSes - only NCR's MP/RAS 
and Linux to some extent (poorly).  Not as cool as it would be with 
RISC, but still a pretty awesome machine.  MP/RAS on those systems, 
combined with NCR's "magic" BYNET network cards + switches, could 
migrate processes between systems in a cluster setup, to load balance 

That Worldmark 5100 is still what I'd term top of the line for systems 
designed around the x86 "architecture".

Still, neither one comes near the coolness factor of my G3 S/390.  If I 
could only get it up and running... sigh.  It seems inexpensive 
peripherals are harder to come by than the actual CMOS Processor part.  
I *thought* I was getting disk for it on Monday, but I ended up being 
wrong, while learning to HATE EMC at the same time.

A note for anyone thinking about getting an EMC.  The "three cabinet" 
wide EMC's are *completely inseperable*.  While there's three doors, 
there's exactly 4 casters, and one solid steel (by weight it seemed 
more like depleted uranium) frame for the whole thing.  One frame with 
three sets of rack rails mounted in it.  The *worst* engineering 
decision *ever*.  If I had to guess, I bet that it weighed about 3x the 
weight of my S/390... about 3 tons.

Anyways, it turned out to be a 5700 (what EMC terms "mainframe storage", 
and normally ships with ESCON interfaces), with only SCSI host 
interfaces installed.  Completely Useless, except for parts.  That 
sucker ended up getting stripped for parts and dumped off of the back 
of a truck, which was the most gratifying feeling I've ever gotten from 
doing that to something I had just bought.  Sigh.

Purdue University ITAP/RCS        ---  http://www.itap.purdue.edu/rcs/
The Computer Refuge               ---  http://computer-refuge.org

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