[Beowulf] Redmond is at it, again

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Wed Jun 2 13:22:00 PDT 2004

On Wed, 2004-06-02 at 13:09, 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.)

Application support.  ISV's like to write their application once, not
qualify it against Fred's basement linux distro that happens to be the
flavor of the month.  The ISV's are looking for stability in this.  They
want a single company/group to work with to get fixes fixed.

> > 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.)

See above.  It is commonplace, and has been the "standard" point of view
since ISV's started forming.

The ISV's keep their costs down (and hence their prices) by keeping
their supported platforms to the minimum they need to support their
users.  More ports (and each linux distro is unfortunately not identical
in terms of ABI, witness the NPTL/linux-threads bit) cost more, take
more time, and wind up charging the customer more.

> 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.

Few if any commercial folks are going to target Debian.  This is not a
troll.  Mandrake has many of its own issues as well, business and
technology, not to mention mindshare.  SuSE is definitely one of the
better distros.  Most of the vendors I see releasing Linux supported
code are releasing on RH first, with usually SuSE second.  I see little
support commercially for Mandrake.

None of this is a troll, merely my observations.

> Come to think of it: *are* there any that anyone knows of?

Commercial software vendors worth bothering with?  Yeah, I know a few :)

> msw
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 612 4615

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