[Beowulf] Redmond is at it, again

unix_no_win unix_no_win at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 2 10:21:15 PDT 2004

<<------snip snip ---------------->>

> I recently talked to RedHat about purchasing RHEL
> for my systems.  Based
> on my needs for two large clusters and a smattering
> of desktops, they were
> asking nearly $10,000 PER YEAR for it, and that was
> educational pricing!

This would be for how many computers??  $10,000 per
year is not bad if your talking over 500 computers.

> But when we started trying to decide how up upgrade
> our RedHat 7.3
> installations, we were stymied.  We couldn't justify
> the costs of the
> commercial distros, I need something a little more
> stable than Fedora, and
> I'm just a bit uneasy about converting these large
> production clusters to
> any of the other distros.

It comes down to support and where to point a finger
at.  If you feel comfortable taking that risk in
exposure if you have problems, then load Debian or
Gentoo, etc.  
> Part of this reluctance is because I'm sure if I
> have problems with my
> commercial compilers or other commercial software
> that I run, they're not
> going to want to give me support if I'm running some
> distro that they've
> never heard of.

I would venture to guess that if you are paying full
price for support on compilers etc, you will have
better luck getting support than if your not.  Once
again if you do have problems where does the finger
end up pointing?

> I'm willing to spend a little money to get the
> software, but not the rates
> that they're demanding.

Seems to me that ~$20 per node is not an exorbitant
amount to keep that finger from ending up pointing at
me if there are problems.  Like it or not the cow has
figured out that the milk should no longer be "free"
(And there are arguments that it was never "free" in
the first place) If you wish to use commercial
software or brand-name hardware the vendors have to
draw the line somewhere to keep their costs in line.
That is business reality. I am no fan of M$ but don't
be suprised to see their market share grow in this
segment, especially when attitudes of "I want
everything for free!" are prevalent. While fine for
small clusters with limited accountability larger
clusters that provide more services to more folks have
to have data center best practices applied to them,
especially when you look at the significant investment
involved in putting together and running a cluster.

Just my $0.02


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