[Beowulf] OS for 64 bit AMD

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Sun Apr 3 13:31:42 PDT 2005

Mark Hahn wrote:


>>It is by Redhat's definition, a rolling beta (proving ground).
> perhaps those words have a different meaning for you.  FC releases
> are real releases, 

dont think anyone is implying that the FC releases are not "real".  As 
for the meaning of the words "proving ground", and the other bits, I am 
using the commonly accepted definitions, as well as the commonly 
accepted interpretation of what Fedora is.

> fully usable in a production environment.

I disagree with this, rather strongly.  The Fedora series has had a 
number of surprises for admins, for driver makers, for users, and so 
forth.  SE-Linux, 4k-stacks, glibc changes, etc.  All of these wound up 
in the supported release (e.g. the one for production environments). 
Sure you can use it on your systems.  Of course you can.  If something 
breaks on some commercial code that you might run, are you SOL?  If you 
don't run any commercial code, and have no liability issues associated 
with using supported platforms, this is a moot point.

> the fact that they are a staging ground does not mean that they
> are not production-worthy, or have not been tested.  it really 

Depends strongly upon your level of pain tolerance, and your willingness 
to occasionally deal with updates that mess up your systems.  If you 
have admins that can handle the support issues that arise (including 
building new kernels, driver debugging, and so forth, sure, it is 
"production ready".  If you need to push the OS/driver support back to 
the supplier of the system, no, it is not.

> only means that FC is on a shorter release cycle, and might contain
> the new puce-and-teal color scheme, which turns out to be a bad idea.

On the contrary, I don't think SE-Linux is "puce-and-teal color scheme". 
  Nor are 4k stacks (that broke many many drivers).  Yes, FC introduced 
those.  No, it was a significant shock when stuff stopped working.  Is 
that really production ready?  (e.g. thorough testing and bug fixes so 
that there will be no surprises)

> beta is short for beta-test, and necessarily means that the testing
> and resulting behavior has not reached a level which permits release.
> of course, you may distrust any software's release criteria.

There are lots of folks out there who are spinning this to their needs. 
  Bottom line is (apart from Greg's company) I know of very few 
commercial software vendors targetting FC-x as a supported platform.  As 
most folks buy systems to run software, and they want to make sure 
(before they buy) that there is support (e.g. someone to yell at when 
things break), most end users will likely opt for the supported releases 
(where their apps are tested on, as they may have liability issues if 
they use an unsupported platform (yeah, this arose recently)).

Some folks, with sufficient support expertise locally may be able to 
support FC-x themselves.  Thats great.  Still doesn't make FC-x a 
supported platform, or a production grade/ready platform (e.g. extensive 
testing and burnin against critical components).

I like FC-3 on one of our Opteron boxes.  Fast and responsive.  I would 
not recommend it to a customer unless they had an admin/staff around 
with something like your capabilities, and then only if there were no 
liability issues (manufacturers using commercial codes), or other 
dependencies that indicated against it.

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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