Our department has $16k to buy computer hardware for high performance computation. The purpose is to do simulation and data analysis using multithreaded applications written with MPI or GridGain, so we want low latency between the cores. Storage is not the highest priority.
We've no experience of server grade hardware before, but are familiar with clustering normal PCs running Debian.
People are keen on blades, but I'm not sure they will provide the maximum bang for buck. We are not a data centre and this $16k is likely to be the most money we will have to spend on server hardware for a long while. What other options should we be considering?