[Beowulf] Redmond is at it, again

Roger L. Smith roger at ERC.MsState.Edu
Wed Jun 2 12:22:32 PDT 2004

On Wed, 2 Jun 2004, Martin WHEELER wrote:

> On Wed, 26 May 2004, Roger L. Smith wrote:
> > On Tue, 25 May 2004, Jeffrey B. Layton wrote:
> > I'm just a bit uneasy about converting these large production clusters to
> > any of the other distros.
> Why?  (Genuinely curious.  As a European working in a European
> environment, the *last* distribution I consider using is usually RH.
> Horses for courses, probably.)

A large part of it is software support issues (see below).  I'm freely
willing to admit that some of it is my own familiarity.  I haven't touched
anthing but RedHat since 1995 (and Slackware before then).  Clusters/Linux
is only a portion of my job, and I'm not enthusiastic about spending a lot
of time right now learning the ins and outs of a new distro.

> > 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 genuinely don't understand this attitude.  (On your part or theirs.)
> Any commercial software company supplying software to run under Linux
> which hasn't heard of / isn't aware of Debian or SUSE or Mandrake
> probably isn't worth bothering with in the first place, in my opinion.

I have several very complicated and "you wouldn't believe me if I told
you" expensive software packages that is critical to portions of our
research.  Breaking this software is not an option.  If I change to some
obscure distro that the vendor doesn't support, and the software breaks,
and I can't fix it myself, I won't even have time to send out invitations
to my own lynching.

Software vendors can't be expected to bless every kernel dot rev and every
fly-by-night distro that may pop up.  Sure it'll probably work, but I'm
not willing to bet my job on it.

| Roger L. Smith                        Phone: 662-325-3625               |
| Sr. Systems Administrator             FAX:   662-325-7692               |
| roger at ERC.MsState.Edu                 http://WWW.ERC.MsState.Edu/~roger |
|                       Mississippi State University                      |

More information about the Beowulf mailing list