Subject: Re: ballpark ratio users:cpu for a [345]86 NetBSD box?
To: None <>
From: Dave McGuire <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/27/1994 16:05:59
On September 27, you wrote:
> Each Pentium is substantially more powerful than a 4/470 in every
> respect. As importantly, however, a 4/470 is a monsterously large
> machine compared to a Pentium and consumes far more power. I can stack
> ten PCI based Pentium PCs in a 19 inch rack. You may laugh at this
> consideration, but for those of us trying to run operations in places
> like New York City where every square foot can cost truly astronimical
> sums of money and where electricity is very expensive, this is a
> serious consideration. Replacing stupid obsolete 4/470s and 4/490s
> with stacks of far more powerful Sparcstations saved one client of
> mine with a high floor datacenter in a prime real estate location more
> than enough to pay for the conversion, and the machines were better,
> too.

  I'll try to do this in order:

  "Better in every respect" is flame bait that I will ignore.

  I agree completely on the space issue.  It's true that I can only
put three 4/400 systems in a 19" rack.  Actually, I *can* put several
more if I use 128mb RAM boards instead of lots of 32's, and only use
one SCSI host adapter...but then I'd worry about heat.

  "Stupid obsolete" is also flame bait that I will ignore.

  "Far more powerful" is true in some respects.  However, FOR OUR
APPLICATION, ( <-reread that) FOR OUR APPLICATION, Sparcstations, even
stuff like 10's, simply won't handle the users.  We have a major
competitor that tried it (two, actually) and it bit them on the butt.
Engineering workstations are simply not designed to replace big
multiuser systems.  It seems to me that you are trying to shoehorn and
retrofit hardware into applications for which it was not designed.  Is
there something good about this that I'm missing, or am I just being
anal-retentive about proper application for hardware?  Computer
manufacturers make workstations and they make servers.  They *really
are* different.

  About the "FOR OUR APPLICATION" stuff... I stress this because I
have no doubt that the stack of Sparcstations were better in *their*
application, but MY application here is the only one for which I can
speak of as having a great deal of experience with.  I would not
presume to debate you in *your* area of expertise.

                            -Dave McGuire
                             Digital Express Group, Incorporated