Fedora cluster project? (was Re: [Beowulf] Opteron/Athlon Clustering)

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Thu Jun 17 20:14:07 PDT 2004

On Thu, 2004-06-17 at 19:25, Jeffrey B. Layton wrote:

> >The main objection that I buy so far to Fedora on clusters relates to
> >ISV distro support; obviously if you're in that boat then Fedora is
> >probably more cutting edge than your ISV would like to deal with.  Linux
> >in general is getting more of a desktop focus lately and Fedora is right
> >there because it's closer to what's happening, but I don't get the
> >feeling that the distro itself is de-emphasizing non-desktop use.
> >  
> >
> Another important objection is the limited patch time. Many companies
> don't want their admins creating updates for security holes for bug fixes.
> That's what we pay vendor(s) to do. Of course a vendor could pick up
> FC and support it as long as it wants, but I'm not sure how many will
> do that.

The major issue for our customers is the ISV support.  Some of the
software does run, just don't ask for official support for it.  This
tends to drive distribution choice.

> My point is that Redhat installations, FC included, tend to load extra stuff
> that isn't needed in clusters. I don't need XMMS, Samba, Mozilla, etc.

I am always amused by the installation of TeTex on cluster compute
nodes.  Then again, quite a while ago, I seem to remember ... ah...
compiling my thesis using a nice set of make files and scripts to drive
TeX.  A cluster would have helped the build time.  


> I'm doing heterogenuous clusters now. It's not difficult. I don't
> know about mixing I2's, Opterons, PIII, etc. But you can
> easily mix 32-bit processors of various models and makes. I'll
> have to bug Greg about that one, but I don't think mixing
> such a wide range of architectures is a wise idea (depending upon
> your problem). So, you can easily do it today but not on a weird
> "franken-cluster" (even though we all probably have one of those
> in our basement).

Heh... one we built recently has at least 3 different ABI's, 2 different
chip and OS architectures.  Done using ROCKS, some "hacks" (getting 32
bit libs working on 64 bit RHEL) and some Perl magic.  End users see the
same program.  The magical Perl handles the details.  Hides the
complexity.  Works really well.


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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