[Beowulf] Docker vs KVM paper by IBM

Gavin W. Burris bug at wharton.upenn.edu
Wed Jan 28 11:00:06 PST 2015

I guess I would have to ask a few questions of the developer considering
docker...  WHY do you need to be outside of a self-contained directory?
Are you installing things that spray files all over the filesystem?  Are
you breaking system-level library dependencies?  Great, but then how do
you patch for critical vulns?  There are most likely not going to be
good answers in most cases.  A correct answer may be, "We are
distributing a pre-configured database server and apache configuration
with correctly permissioned application code."

Please don't get me wrong here;  I'm excited about Docker.  But I see
people using it to push problems up or down the stack in non-productive
ways.  Researchers do not want to be sysadmins, and if they do, they
aren't publishing.


On 01:30PM Wed 01/28/15 -0500, Jason Riedy wrote:
> And Gavin W. Burris writes:
> > Sure, distribute your container, but also consider writing code
> > that can be compiled easily in a self-contained directory like a
> > home directory.
> That ship sailed long ago and isn't coming back.
> "All the world is your laptop" is pretty much how it is for current
> students who become the next developers.  Letting people emulate
> their laptop sufficiently well on a cluster will help quite a few
> non-CS users.
> Even for CS-ish users, home directory servers cannot support
> undergrad student numbers at current available funding levels, there
> are no central computing labs where people access them, etc.
> Students really aren't even exposed to shared home-directory style
> filesystems short of data dumping places equivalent to Dropbox.
> Installing into the home directory no longer occurs to people who
> own the entire file system.
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Gavin W. Burris
Senior Project Leader for Research Computing
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania

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