[Beowulf] OS for 64 bit AMD
dag at sonsorol.org
Thu Mar 31 12:35:33 PST 2005
Leaving all distro related politics aside, the main reason for the
widespread use of 'bloated' or commercial Linux distributions in
clusters is the following:
(1) ISV support for commercial end user applications. In some industries
it is not uncommon to have scientific or engineering application
licenses that cost more than the cluster itself. These applications are
often extremely powerful and extremely complex and place tremendous
demands on the host system. In order to get the best, most useful, help
out of the software vendor's product engineers one must usually be
running on a limited subset of OS distributions supported by the vendor.
(2) Reducing the finger pointing loop when things go wrong in complex IT
configurations. This has only happened to me once or twice but as an
example: If I have to connect a cluster I/O node to an enterprise SAN
fabric I'd rather my linux host OS be something that the SAN/FC switch
vendor officially certifies and has qualified. The cost of the
commercial Linux disto license is going to be far cheaper than the
time/effort it would take to teach myself low level fibre channel
transport and fabric debugging should things go wrong.
Again, just my $.02 -- it totally depends what kind of work you are
doing on your cluster(s).
Jamie Rollins wrote:
> Any decent distro should support kernel 2.6 with amd64. But can some one
> give me one good reason why you would use anything other than a
> streamlined distro like Debian? Why pay for all the blote in something
> like redhat when your nodes are probably going to be running a single
> process anyway?
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