Our Product Design Methodology
When designing high performance computing systems, its important to fully understand how different components of a system can benefit, or adversly impact the other components installed. This all starts with an understanding of the application(s) to be used on the system. Understanding how the CPU & RAM will be used by the application, how the storage will be used and ultimately how quickly the data can get between those different I/O (Input/Output) points is critical.
Our builds are all designed around this understanding. We live in a spec-driven world that unfortunately results in many people, both personally and professionally, spending a lot of money on hardware they'll never utilize. Spending an extra $1000 on a CPU upgrade (for instance) may not really net $1000 worth of performance, while splitting that up to increase both processing and storage performance can result in a case processing 4 hours faster than it would otherwise. An example of this is the marketing of "Dual Xeon" systems. The fact is, we implement single-CPU systems that blow away dual-CPU systems daily, at a fraction of the cost. On top of this, without a storage sub-system that scales with the CPU's processing capability, much of that processing power can go to waste. This is just one example.
This methodology is especially important for the design of the FAST Lab solution as there are many tiers that can cause choke-points if not designed & implemented properly. Data must move quickly through your workstation's internal components and on and off the networked storage, all on a network with the necessary bandwidth that won't slow it down.
You may notice you will not find an ability to choose upgraded hardware from drop-down boxes in order to customize a build here. The fact is, the majority of the FAST Machines we sell are customized for our customers. We typically start with a budget number and one of our base builds, then design an upgraded system that makes the most sense. We want to ensure we design a machine that will give you the best bang for your buck.
The designed workstation builds here are simply “baseline” builds. Each model is 100% customizable (upgrades OR downgrades) based on your needs and desires. Many upgrades come at a small cost as you only pay for the additional hardware cost and no additional profit is built in like with many other builders. Processors scale all the way up to 64-core single-CPU systems and RAM that can reach 2TB in a single CPU system. Note that monitors are not included as each customer tends to have differing preferences for what they like (size & quantity), but can be added at a minimal expense, and often are.