"If NIH had used proprietary software to build the system, it
would be much smaller than it is today because of the cost, Fellini
said. Proprietary software similar to the open source software used
for Biowulf would run about $370 per license for the 2,200 nodes in
the system. That does not include the annual cost to maintain
proprietary software, which could run as much as 10 percent of the
original purchase cost of the software annually, Fellini said.
"Furthermore, if proprietary scientific software were running on
the Biowulf cluster, NIH could afford to buy only a limited number
of licenses and scientists would be restricted to that number."