shall we write our own? Re: [Beowulf] O'Reilly Clusters Book Review

Ryan Sweet rsweet at
Fri Feb 25 09:33:58 PST 2005


I have also had a look at the new ORA cluster book, hoping that they had 
learned their lesson, and had a similar reaction.  While I don't wish to 
discredit M. Sloan, as writing any sort of book is always going to be a lot of 
work and filled with compromise, I felt from the very beginning that the 
community can do better.  After reading over your review, which, while 
scathing, was entirely accurate, I feel resolved that the beowulf community 
_should_ do better.

Here's what I propose: let's make a " Guide to Linux Clustering", 
or whatever the heck else you want to call it.   Let us outline, review, 
improve, and comment on it here on this mailing list.  Here's the hard part - 
lets also set a deadline, with realistic goals, and try to stick to it.  Lets 
assign any publishing rights or other "details" like that to the FSF or Linux 
Documentation Project.

Robert Brown has already done a lot of work on such a book, and generously 
made it freely available.  Maybe he is amenable to this being a starting 

In any case, I would gladly provide hosting for something like this, and 
coordinate the project, as well as edit or write content.

There are many questions that arise:
 	Most importantly - What should go in the book?
 	In what order should these topics be covered?
 	Should there be an attempt to have a common style?
 	How (and how often) should it be revised?
 	Does the book target new beowulf admins, seasoned experts, or both and 
some in-between?
 	Should mentioning vendors be allowed? What are the guidelines?

and so on.

Firstly, now that I've proposed the idea, I'll also start by volunteering to 
write a chapter on diskless clustering.

Second, please take this opportunity to tell me why this is a bad idea, and 
while your at it send your comments on the questions above.


Ryan Sweet             <ryan.sweet at>
Advanced Operations and Engineering Services
AOES Group BV  
Phone +31(0)71 5795521  Fax +31(0)71572 1277

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