In general, the cluster configuration should remain as “standard” as possible; this is not be a bleeding edge venture.
Some general information gleaned from our anticipated user base:
Here is a rough hardware configuration guide …
The quote should include all racks, power distribution, and UPS equipment needed to house and run the cluster. The quote should also include the network switch equipment required for internode communication.
We will want the equipment to be assembled, racked, and imaged by the vendor either onsite or prior to delivery (no preference). We will require 24/7/4hr support for the master and NFS nodes, and 24/7 support for OS/software. NBD support will be sufficient for the compute nodes. The duration of all support should be three years. After delivery/installation, we will require cluster administration training/knowledge transfer for our UNIX administrators. All these costs should be reflected in the quote.