[Beowulf] distributions

Bill Rankin wrankin at ee.duke.edu
Thu Feb 2 06:52:13 PST 2006

On Feb 2, 2006, at 8:04 AM, Robert G. Brown wrote:

> What we do is use centos for servers (LAN/department servers, that  
> also
> serve the cluster nodes with e.g. home and project space).  We use
> FC-even revision numbers for desktops, cluster nodes, etc.

And for a slightly different view of other clusters at Duke :) - we  
use Centos (currently 3.x, migrating to 4.x probably in the summer)  
on the large central shared cluster.  We have 500+ nodes right now  
and are growing constantly.  We currently support around two dozen  
different research groups on the campus with a mixed application pool  
off everything from roll-yer-own MPI codes to commercial  
applications.  Heck, we even support Matlab to a very limited  
extent. :-)

For us, rolling out a new OS release is a major endeavor.  Lots of  
testing has to go on to verify that applications don't break on us  
and that all the tool sets that we need are available.  So for us,  
the stability of Centos is a big attraction.  Also one consideration  
for third party apps is making sure that they officially "support"  
the OS platform, in case we have to deal with their technical support.

True, we do run into the cases where a user "must have" the latest/ 
greatest version of some library they use on their FC desktop, or  
found in Debian and we try our best to accommodate them.  But I  
figure that we'll have that problem no matter what release of what OS  
we run.


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