[Beowulf] SGI to offer Windows on clusters

Jeffrey B. Layton laytonjb at charter.net
Sun Apr 15 13:18:17 PDT 2007

Robert G. Brown wrote:
> On Sun, 15 Apr 2007, John Hearns wrote:
>> And re. the future version of Scientific Linux, there has been debate 
>> on the list re. co-operating with CENTos and essentially using CENTos 
>> as a base, and SL being an overlay of specific application and 
>> library RPMs.
>> Pros and cons either way there.
> IMO, most cluster builders will find it more advantageous to track the
> FC releases instead of using RHEL or Centos or things derived therefrom.
> Hardware support is key, and Centos can get long in the tooth pretty
> quickly in a cluster environment with any sort of annual turnover.

I think this is an interesting question. On the one hand, you're absolutely
right in that faster moving distros like FC (or Ubuntu) allow newer hardware
to be used quickly and newer kernel developments to be used to advantage.

On the other hand, ISV's, who many cluster users depend upon (not so many
on this list) are reluctant, to say the least, to switch to a faster 
moving distro.
They are happy with something like RHEL or SLES. I know one ISV that
only recently switched to RHEL 4 from RHEL 3! There are many more
ISV stories to tell (I'm sure Greg could share some as well), but believe
me, they don't want to change and many times, won't change.

Of course, in defense of the the ISV's, some of their customers are required
to keep certain versions of their software on certain OS versions for a
very long time. So the ISV's have gotten very conservative in their choice
and support of distros.

So this leaves us, and many times cluster vendors and integrators, in a
pickle. If you need ISV codes but also want new hardware, what do you
do? I don't have a good answer. The only answer I can think of is to 
to educate the ISV's and perhaps get them to support something a little
more basic such as a kernel/glibc combination or at least a very basic
(i.e. minimal) set of "parts" in a distro.

Any comments or ideas?


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