[Beowulf] Re: Rackable / SGI

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Sun Apr 5 09:47:19 PDT 2009

On Sun, 5 Apr 2009, John Hearns wrote:

> 2009/4/5 Jason Riedy <jason at acm.org>:
>> I'm more shocked that no one has written up using cfengine for
>> managing laptops.  It seems a perfect model.  With the more open
>> development model, perhaps it'll come back.  But its competitors
>> are more "web 2.0 cool."
> Indeed. We are all just lumbering dinosaurs here. We endlessly discuss
> benchmarking, performance, use of high-grade compilers, file systems
> which go like stink and scale like crazy, interconnects which let us
> use thousands of cores and tbytes of memory on the same problem at
> once.
> Do we not notice the little birds running about our feet who are
> twittering(*) about elastic cloud computing to the managers, and how
> all computing will be done via web services on the Cloud, and how
> their businesses should all be virtualised to the point of not having
> these crusty olf Frotran (Fortran! Ha!) types and their emergency
> stacks of punch cards.
> (*) pun intended. For which I should be shot at dawn.

Why wait?



(I'm not sure that cfengine is the ideal tool for managing laptops,
though.  I'm not sure that it is the ideal tool for managing ANYTHING
but mostly-homogeneous LANs of workstations and/or servers.  It requires
a fairly substantial investment of time to learn and set up for its
intended purposes, not for the faint of hear and definitely not for
users.  Laptop management is almost entirely userland, to my own
experience.  Every human for themself, devil take the hindmost.  Yum or
apt-get are your best friends there, as the issue is less "management"
than it is "tricking out your system with enough bling-y applications"
and hoping that it actually installs with all the hardware already
intrinsically supported.)


Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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