Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 03:25:08 -0400
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Subject: Re: PC SAS vs. Mainframe SAS
Bear in mind also that clusters have historically been comprised of 2p
servers. Migration to 4p quadcore systems reduces a 8 server cluster to one
machine. So we can add widespread adoption of 4p multicore servers as an
additional threat to MF, and one that is far simpler to administer than a
cluster, and cheaper to licence software for, or hardware glue, than grid,
On Mon, 18 Sep 2006 17:09:21 +0100, Ben Powell <Ben.powell@CLA.CO.UK> wrote:
>"the death of the MF may be here"
>They've been saying that for 20 years :-)
>It may be true - it would be useful to see uptodate ROI. How many SAS
installations are running on clusters and/or grid? Surely the admin for
dozens of interconnected little machines is more of a headache than for one?
Above 16 or 32 x86 cores you generally need non-standard interconnects
and/or software glue to make the thing work. Whereas mf is otb. Competition
then comes from SGI, Cray, etc, which is not PC,
>From: Alan Churchill [mailto:SASL001@savian.net]
>Sent: 18 September 2006 17:01
>To: Ben Powell; SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>Subject: RE: PC SAS vs. Mainframe SAS
>The utilization issue is the whole point of grid computing. This is already
seen at the places I mentioned where CPU utilizations are certainly not at
1%. Many of the benefits of mainframes can be found in clusters. Also,
clusters can be upgraded much easier and are probably less prone to outages.
>I doubt that the MF will hold out any advantages over a cluster approach
and hence why I think the death of the MF may be here.
>Savian "Bridging SAS and Microsoft Technologies"
>From: SAS(r) Discussion [mailto:SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
>Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 9:44 AM
>Subject: Re: PC SAS vs. Mainframe SAS
>Wasn't it the arival of the internet that foretold the death of the
mainframe? This was apparently disproven when IBMs mf sales jumped in 2003
in part as a reversion to quality in the wake of the tech implosion. There
were several articles on this at the time on the topic of "death of mf: much
exagerated" except I can't seem to dig them up and all their roi arguments,
comparing mf, pc and unix.
>I think its a slightly misconstrued argument to compare a single user
experience in pc and mf. Of course the pc is going to be more satisfying in
the majority of cases. But a mf purchase is not based on the needs of a
single user but on 50-5000+ users, and not one app but all their apps. The
minimum guaranteed service level of mf is also far higher than for pc - to
spec pc support to similar levels requires not 1 or 2 highly trained support
engineers but a whole army of it support.
>Couple that with security weakness and high rates of component / software
failure in pc, with little or no redundancy unless still more expensive
solutions are built in and you can begin to see where the guaranteed uptime
and centralised cost/resource model of mf begins to make headway, even today.
>Having said all that, I don't know since I can dig up the original debate I
am referring to, if this is all still the case, or if the balance has indeed
swung massively in favour of pc. How are mf sales bearing up?
>Bear in mind powerpc processors from ibm already run quad core, which would
suggest some mf solutions should already be processing power competitive.
>Last but by no means least there is also the utilisation arguement. The mf
is generally configured to be running at close to ideal levels of
utilisation so that little resource is wasted. This is rarely the case for
pcs where 99% of the time the processor is virtually idle.
>I believe the article I'm referring to perhaps from mainframe month is
"classic" and would be grateful if someone could post a link.
>As for whether google could run on mf rather than cluster, they must have
been approached by big blue, but I doubt they'd make the cba public,
>On Mon, 18 Sep 2006 06:13:56 -0600, Alan Churchill <SASL001@SAVIAN.NET>
>>I disagree. There is no way that a mainframe is stronger than a grid. A
>>mainframe can be part of a grid and hence is a subset. As an example, a
>>mainframe cannot do search queries faster than Google.
>>The old comparison of a PC and a mainframe cost-wise is out of date.
>>Today's PCs can be extremely safe and maintainable, they are fast in
>>every measure, and they provide a much better user experience. Wall
>>clock time, my guess is that the jobs will also run faster. With
>>quad-core PCs available by this Christmas running virtualization, you
>>could have an 8 way on the desk, running RAID 5 with 500GB of storage,
>4 GB of RAM for less than $5000.
>>That is a big enough machine to handle the vast majority of SAS processing.
>>Plus you can play Quake at ~200 frames per sec as a bonus ;-]
>>Savian "Bridging SAS and Microsoft Technologies"
>>From: SAS(r) Discussion [mailto:SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
>>Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 4:07 AM
>>Subject: Re: PC SAS vs. Mainframe SAS
>>In all the answers people have given there is still missing one
>>question: What are your programs for and what are the possibilities for
>>running them Eric? Are they just typical batch programs or do they have
>>to be run on demand?
>>Mainframes are still stronger machines than any pc or grid. There's no
>>doubt about that. Mainframes get updated and upgraded just as much as
>>any other hardware. The question is how many people have to share that
>>>From a developer's point of view a windows version is preferable
>>although the ISPF editor isn't bad when you set it to 32 lines, program
>>highlighting, parenthesis highlighting (a great option I have yet to
>>find in other environments) and have something like TSO Plus which lets
>>enable you to switch between screens. I 'grew up' on a mainframe so I
>>feel quite at home. I've had colleagues complaining that they couldn't
>>follow what I was doing because I was pushing buttons faster than the
>>screens were showing ;-) But developing on a windows machine or another
>>GUI environment is easier because you can run little pieces of code,
>>change macro variables on the fly, etc., etc.
>>One big advantage of the mainframe is it standard back up capabilities.
>>The companies I have worked for so far always have had back ups made
>>every night. That means if I screw up I am able to retrieve data or
>>code from the day before usually within seconds. On pc or a
>>non-mainframe network it usually means that you have lost the data or
>>code or that someone has to insert a tape somewhere so that you have to
>>wait days before you get your restore.
>>Contrary to what many people believe there isn't a real price difference.
>>The cost for mainframes seems high but many people forget that a pc
>>probably costs just as much per person if you want to have all the
>>safety and maintainability features a mainframe offers.
>>So how big and important are your jobs Eric? If it were up to me I
>>would choose to develop on pc and then port the programs to mainframe
>>where they could be run in a batch. But that's probably out of the
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