Post by Ed Jaffe Post by R.S.
The above is some simplification, however I heard A LOT OF zBX, saw
a lot of presentations, and IBMers never ever convinced me the zBX
is something more than LAN-attached rack.
zBX was a mistake. Every company makes them.
for at least past ten years, large public cloud operators have been
claiming that they assemble their own systems at 1/3rd the price of
brand name server vendors. their large megadatacenters having hundreds
of thousands of these system blades. Within past couple years, system
processor chip makers have been saying that they ship over half their
chips to these large megadatacenters ... significantly changing large
datacenter model (and possibly contributing to IBM selling off its
server business). Each one of these blades having upwards of ten times
the processing power of max. configured z14 ... and a single
megadatacenter will have several hundred thousand of these blades, and
there are large scores of these megadatacenters around the world.
more than 30 years ago
early 1979, I got con'ed into doing 4341 benchmarks (on engineering
4341, they hadn't started shipping yet) for LLNL that was looking at
getting 70 4341s for computer farm (sort of leading edge of cluster
starting in the early 80s, we were working with director of NSF on
inter-connecting the NSF supercomputer centerrs. We were suppose to get
$20M ... but then congres cuts the budget and things drag on for
sometime while we continue to work with the director. I had also done a
proposal to do racks of processor chips ... racks with arbitrary mix of
cards with arbitrary mix of 370 & 801/risc CMOS chips. This is old email
having scheduled meeting with director of NSF but also a week of
meetings at research on racks full of arbitrary mix 370 & 801/risc chips
(I had to get somebody to fill in for me at the NSF meetings)
I had project I called HSDT that had T1 and faster speed links ...
including connectivity to IBM mainframes using non-IBM controllers.
some HSDT email
Old email about doing CP (vm370) internals class and
meetings with NSF about connecting NSF supercomputer centers
some more HSDT & NSF
more NSF related email
eventually NSF releases a RFP (in part based on what we already have
running in HSDT), but internal politics prevents us from bidding,
director of NSF tries to help by writting letter to the company (with
support from other agencies) copying the CEO ... but that just makes the
internal politics worse. As regional networks connect into the center,
it evolves into the NSFNET backbone, precursor to modern internet.
more HSDT email
during this period, the communication group is spreading misinformation
internally, even claiming that SNA/VTAM can be used ... even tho
SNA/VTAM doesn't support TCP/IP and 37x5 boxes doesn't support more than
56kbits/sec links. Somebody collects much of the mis-information email
and sends us a copy ... significantly clipped and redacted to protect
there is not a lot of interest within IBM about including 370 chips in
cluster racks ... so eventually it is only 801/risc power chips. We are
working with national labs and supercomputer centers on cluster scaleup
for scientific/technical as well as RDBMS vendors on commercial cluster
scaleup. past reference JAN1992 meeting in Oracle CEO's office about
commercial cluster scaleup
within a couple weeks of the Oracle meeting, cluster scaleup was
transferred, announced as supercomputer, and we were told that we
couldn't work on anything with more than four processors.
17Feb1992 press about scientific/technical *ONLY*
later in the spring 11May1992 press, IBM surprised in national lab
interest in cluster supercomputers
more cluster scaleup email
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970
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