disadvantages of a linux cluster

Eray Ozkural eozk at bicom-inc.com
Wed Nov 6 06:06:54 PST 2002

On Wednesday 06 November 2002 02:31, Mark Hahn wrote:
> > 256-processor Intel clusters (home grown apps). We run in parallel with
> > MPI Pro and Cluster Controller and Windows 2000. Reliability is 5-nines;
> > manageability tools have helped us to reduce systems administration
> > costs/staff.
> so what would be the list price of that software?  do you have any
> data on how reliability would compare with a linux approach?
> also, .99999 is impressive, only 5 minutes a year; how long have
> you had the cluster?  is that .99999 counted for all nodes,
> or do you mean "at least some nodes worked for .99999 of the time"?
> if you really mean that the sum of all downtime (across all 256 nodes)
> is 5 minutes/year, that's truely remarkable!

I also wonder how they are managing those windows machines without a video 
card and keyboard!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on!!!

I want to know the cost of that software, including all OS, system tools and 
development software per node. Ours was I think $0. And we were able to make 
a fine 32-node cluster + head for $24000.

One effective system administrator at a time (me or Barla) was sufficient to 
maintain that cluster. I think the cluster usually went for several months in 
a row with 0 administative overhead. Last time for 6-7 months, thanks to XFS 
which is a real filesystem unlike NTFS or ext3. We had automatic installation 
software that could re-install the entire system in its _final_ form in 
something like 20 minutes. How long does it take to re-install your entire 
windows system? :)))) The maintenance mostly involved hardware failures, 
_not_ software. How many sysadmins did they have for a larger system? Maybe 
each sysadmin babysitted 10 boxes, who knows!?!??!?!

Plus, 5 minutes a year means you never had to reboot one of those machines, 
not even once after installation; *and* that is the operating system that 
made "rebooting" an essential part of daily computer usage.


Eray Ozkural (exa) <erayo at cs.bilkent.edu.tr>
Comp. Sci. Dept., Bilkent University, Ankara
www: http://www.cs.bilkent.edu.tr/~erayo  Malfunction: http://mp3.com/ariza
GPG public key fingerprint: 360C 852F 88B0 A745 F31B  EA0F 7C07 AE16 874D 539C

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