Quicksort wrote:Any wealthy chess enthusiast would rather invest $30000 in a Cray Cx1
(Windows HPC Server 2008) with Houdini, rather than renting R4 cluster
for an equivalent amount. By the way, CX1 is only the first step in Cray' s
plan to take advantage from Windows hegemony.
What will the R4 cluster be worth when Cray 256-cores Windows power computers will be available ? Can amateur clustering compare with supercomputing experience ? Harsh times ahead for Rybka connection.
Qapla, Robert !
If you want to know if the business model is sound, just tell them you want to make a reservation for the full monthy cluster (100 cores) for 2 days (it's the minimum you must reserve, that makes around 1200€ or $1700 for these 2 days).
The information you want to get is WHEN the cluster is available.
They can't ask you to pay BEFORE telling you when you can get cluster time. So it won't cost you anything to get this information. They can't ask you who you are either. If you are a top chess player you want to be able to access this thing anonymously. It's a condition they will have to accept, or they will put down potential customers.
If you CAN get a reservation for today or tomorrow then you know they can't get 100% usage time.
Just repeat the experiment several times and deduce how much money they get from their customers.
Then we could, just for fun, evaluate the cost of running this thing. I'm pretty sure there are IT professionals reading this forum who could do it with a good accuracy.
And finally we could deduce how much money they are making
But one thing I notice is that their business model is based on TRUST
- You have to TRUST that you have access to the hardware you have reserved: in order to fully book the cluster they will be tempted to allow several users at the same time without telling them. It's just a matter of faking the NPS (if that sounds familiar).
- You have to TRUST that the results of your analysis are not going to be transmitted to someone else and that nobody else will be able to snoop on your connexion. What if I offer to pay them $3000 per day to snoop? No? Then I offer $5000. It's much more valuable to know your opponent's preparation than doing yours.
- You have to TRUST that if you discover an opening novelty the team is not going to use your discovery. What if I pay them $10000 in advance to get 3 opening novelties? I just have to sit and wait until 3 novelties are discovered: it could be monitored continuously by a separate piece of software, they don't even need to do it manually.
Chess players tend to be secretive and even slightly paranoid, and this Rybka cluster project is based on trust. Smart move guys.