[Beowulf] OS for 64 bit AMD

Leif Nixon nixon at nsc.liu.se
Mon Apr 4 02:35:19 PDT 2005

Bob Drzyzgula <bob at drzyzgula.org> writes:

>    I get a bit frustrated at the hostility toward commercial
>    applications and closed hardware [...]

>    If you have a choice between solving a problem today or
>    spending months writing the tool to solve the problem,
>    the decision will most likely be based on (a) how much
>    it will cost to develop the tool plus the cost of not
>    having the solution for months (which is likely to have,
>    absent extensive analysis, non-monetary units), and
>    (b) what it would cost to have the tool today.

One should also think about the lifetime cost of managing the tool. (I
won't use the term TCO, but you catch my drift.)

The years have taught me that it is typically harder to get a
closed-source, commercial software product to work, and to *keep* it
working, than an opensource product. Apart from the general
inflexibility and opaqueness that comes with the closed-sourceness,
you often get the additional joy of dealing with a [expletive deleted]
license server. I hate those things.

Furthermore, you're at the mercy of the software vendor. A couple of
times I've found commercial products that actually worked nicely and
fit into my environment, just to have the vendor drop the product half
a year later. And we've had interesting discussions with the vendor of
a well-known quantum chemistry package, begins with a G, that doesn't
"support RHEL".

Of course, there are commercial products and vendors that actually
*are* a joy to work with, but they are -- alas -- not very common.

Leif Nixon                       -            Systems expert
National Supercomputer Centre    -      Linkoping University

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