[Beowulf] SuSE 9.3

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Wed Jul 13 11:57:40 PDT 2005

At 10:29 AM 7/13/2005 -0700, Jim Lux wrote:
>At 07:23 AM 7/13/2005, Lombard, David N wrote:
>>From: Mark Hahn on Tuesday, July 12, 2005 5:27 PM
>> >
>> > > Corporate users and ISVs don't want to see the OS revised more than
>> > > a year.
>> >
>> > which is sad, really.  they've been so traumatized by the dominant
>> > platform that they expect that changing anything will break
>> > the very concept of a standard, let alone an interface standard (ABI)
>> > is foreign to this mentality.
>Aside from compatibility issues, there's a not-insignificant cost to 
>rolling out a change to thousands of desktops, some small fraction of which 
>WILL break for one reason or another, no matter what OS you're 
>running.  Say you're a corporate IT manager responsible for 10,000 desktop 
>machines.  If 0.1% of those machines break (which is a very small number), 
>you've got to handle 10 calls, each of which probably costs you somewhere 
>between $500-1000 (staff to handle it, the lost productivity of the person 
>who's machine broke, etc.).
>Say you roll out the change in the daytime.. there's going to be some 
>disruption of what's going on with each desktop.  Say it costs 15 minutes 
>for each user.. times 10,000 users, that's 2500 work hours, conservatively 
>well over $100K worth.  Assuming all goes well. If some fraction of those 
>users decide to call the help line because "something weird is going on 
>with my PC", you've just radically increased the cost of the roll out.
>So, you say, roll it out at night.  Then, some fairly significant fraction 
>of the machines won't get the update because the user has turned it off 
>(despite broadcast messages and exhortations to "please leave your computer 
>on tonight").
>This is more a manifestation of having thousands of machines in the hands 
>of unsophisticated users, than any particular OS choice. By the way, 
>sophisticated users are actually worse: They notice that something weird is 

Actually freaks (as i call those 'sophisticated users') are the worst of
them all, because they will complain loud and request feature X,
which has only limited use to this person and someone at 
the Northpole perhaps, but they still request it and one in so many requests
convinces even managers and their programming teams to implement that nerd
feature X. That's usually bad, as those freaks do thousands of requests a day.

Convincing programmers to make something that the average person likes is
real difficult, as in their own world the number of features supported is
more important than ease of use of just a few features.


>going on and call to ask; They're more likely to have changed the "default 
>configuration" of the system; They're more likely to have installed some 
>other software, outside the official configuration management regime.
>So, moderate to big shops tend to want to avoid willy-nilly rearrangement 
>of the computing configuration.  Once a year is nice.. You budget $500K or 
>so for the rollout and its costs (pretesting, support, organization, etc.) 
>and you're done with it.
>James Lux, P.E.
>Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
>Flight Communications Systems Section
>Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
>4800 Oak Grove Drive
>Pasadena CA 91109
>tel: (818)354-2075
>fax: (818)393-6875
>Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
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