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SubjectRe: Minutes from Feb 21 LSE Call
>> Interesting. Given the profit margins involved, I bet they still
>> make more money on servers than desktops and notebooks combined
>> (the annual report doesn't seem to list that). And that's before
>> you take account of the "linux weighting" on top of that ...
>
> Err, here's a news flash. Dell has just one server with more than
> 4 CPUS and it tops out at 8. Everything else is clusters. And they
> call any machine that doesn't have a head a server, they have servers
> starting $299. Yeah, that's right, $299.
>
> http://www.dell.com/us/en/bsd/products/series_pedge_servers.htm
>
> How much do you want to bet that more than 95% of their server revenue
> comes from 4CPU or less boxes? I wouldn't be surprised if it is more
> like 99.5%. And you can configure yourself a pretty nice quad xeon box
> for $25K. Yeah, there is some profit in there but nowhere near the huge
> margins you are counting on to make your case.

OK, so now you've slid from talking about PCs to 2-way to 4-way ...
perhaps because your original arguement was fatally flawed.

The work we're doing on scalablity has big impacts on 4-way systems
as well as the high end. We're also simultaneously dramatically improving
stability for smaller SMP machines by finding reproducing races in
5 minutes that smaller machines might hit once every year or so, and
running high-stress workloads that thrash the hell out of various
subsystems exposing bugs.

Some applications work well on clusters, which will give them cheaper
hardware, at the expense of a lot more complexity in userspace ...
depending on the scale of the system, that's a tradeoff that might go
either way.

For applications that don't work well on clusters, you have no real
choice but to go with the high-end systems. I'd like to see Linux
across the board, as would many others.

You don't believe we can make it scale without screwing up the low end,
I do believe we can do that. Time will tell ... Linus et al are not
stupid ... we're not going to be able to submit stuff that screwed up
the low-end, even if we wanted to.

M.



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