Those of you interested in what it really takes to bring up a massive system don't want to miss the "Lessons Learned Deploying the World's First GPU-Based Petaflop System" session. In it, NVIDIA's senior hardware architect, Dale Southard, discusses his experience with China's Nebulae supercomputer - which, in addition to being …
or you ask the vendor to benchmark it first
there's no reason why -for a fee- your vendor of 1000 boxes can't rack them up and benchmark them before you take possession of them. That way they get to deal with the BIOS problems and you don't.
....with most HPC procurements, the vendor doesn't get paid until the machine is accepted and acceptance typically means that it's performing at the promised level. So no money changes hands until all the bugs are ironed out.
GPU is the Way
GPU nodes scale way better faster and cheaper than the puny x86 obsolescence.
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