[Beowulf] OS for 64 bit AMD

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Thu Mar 31 16:54:24 PST 2005

Commercial support of apps, drivers, connectivity.  Corporate IT staff 
are (unless they are empowered), unlikely to support things they are 
unfamiliar with, or when they have go/no-go decision authority, unlikely 
to give the go-ahead to a distro that does not have a 1800-help-me 
number attached to it.  For academic staff, they will likely pick the 
distro they are comfortable with, or one that they see lots of cluster 
people using.

At the end of the day, the cluster admin is going to be asked whether or 
not they trust their production computing system to distribution X. 
Distribution X needs to support all their mix of stuff, which likely 
supports Redhat, SuSE, and possibly a third.  Anything else other than 
those and they are on their own with their support community.

It is aweful lonely using Stampede Linux on a production cluster, and 
running into a problem with IB, when it comes time to asking a question 
and getting help/support.

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?
> jamie.
> On Thu, 31 Mar 2005, Joe Landman wrote:
>>Actually Redhat now has HPC pricing per node.  There are other good
>>reasons to look elsewhere for HPC distributions though, specifically due
>>to their lack of good high performance/scalable per-node file system.
>>SuSE at least makes XFS and JFS available, and you can build/install a
>>system with these.  Redhat prefers that you use ext3.  Another issue for
>>the RHEL3 were the ancient kernels with many backports of advanced
>>functionality from modern kernels.  Additionally adding modules for new
>>hardware support into their boot process is a minor nightmare...
>>Chris Dagdigian wrote:
>>>I second Joe's comments.
>>>All of our Opteron systems run Suse 9.2 by default and we use Centos-4
>>>for "Redhat" compatible functionality when required since Redhat has
>>>explicitly chosen to price themselves out of the cluster market for
>>>everything except 2-way 32bit boxes.
>>>Suse 9.1/9.2 on Opteron and Suse Enterprise Linux (SLES 8/9) on Itanium
>>>Systems (meaning our SGI Altix) have been extremely stable and useful in
>>>our work. Highly recommended.
>>>Joe Landman wrote:
>>>>Hi Mike:
>>>>  Opterons will do better with a 2.6 kernel (2.6.9 and higher).  If
>>>>you are going to use RHEL, you might want to look at Rocks (RHEL3
>>>>based) or Warewulf which should be able to sit atop RHEL4.  If you
>>>>want to use a Redhat work-alike, you might want to look closely at
>>>>  I am sure others will take issue with this, but I would strongly
>>>>advise against using a rolling beta OS (FC-x) as the basis for a
>>>>production cycle machine.  If it is a purely experimental cluster, go
>>>>for it.  If it is supposed to provide cycles to a wide group, you
>>>>might look more closely at a supported/supportable distribution.
>>>>  We have had good luck with SuSE 9.x (x>=1), RHEL3, CentosX on
>>>>clusters using a variety of meta-distributions (warewulf, Rocks,
>>>>others).  Most of our customers seem to prefer the RHEL series, so we
>>>>tend to work with that more than others, but YMMV.
>>>>Mike Davis wrote:
>>>>>What OSes are Opteron clusters out there running. Is anyone running
>>>>>FC2 on opterons?
>>>>>I'm looking at opterons for our next cluster, but I'm not sure about
>>>>>what OS to run. Thus far we've been with RH and or RHAS. But, the
>>>>>next cluster will be big and I'm just not sure what we should run.
>>>>>Mike Davis
>>>>>Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
>>>>>To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit
>>Joseph Landman, Ph.D
>>Founder and CEO
>>Scalable Informatics LLC,
>>email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
>>web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
>>phone: +1 734 786 8423
>>fax  : +1 734 786 8452
>>cell : +1 734 612 4615
>>Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
>>To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 734 786 8452
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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