[Beowulf] Joe Blaylock's notes on running a MacOS cluster, Nov. 2007

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Nov 21 07:00:23 PST 2007

On Wed, 21 Nov 2007, Tim Cutts wrote:

> I have to say I have some sympathy with that view.  Much though I love OS X 
> as a desktop OS, I have to wonder why anyone would jump through hoops 
> building a cluster running just Darwin, when they could probably have done it 
> much more easily, and with much more community support, if they used Linux... 
> It just seems like a lot of extra pain and difficulty for no tangible 
> benefit.

And at premium prices for the hardware.  Apple's OS is constrained, as I
understand it, to run only on Apple hardware.  So instead of actually
tuning the cluster to the application with the full palette of available
hardware, packaging, networks, vendors, service plans, and more, you're
pretty much reduced to picking items off of a single catalog with a
limited set of configuration options that without exception are resold
to you at top dollar.

One day Apple will make up its mind about whether it is a hardware
company or a software company.  I vote soft, and thought that once they
supported generic Intel even their main company management would "get
it".  It continues to think "hard" though, probably because they
armtwist a significant premium out of their customers for buying their
stuff and because it locks many of those customers mentally into buying
apple forever as they identify apple AS a computer company and say they
like apple computers, when what they really like is apple's software.

Sun needs to make the same choice.


> Tim

Robert G. Brown
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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