[Beowulf] distributions

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 19:56:01 PST 2006

Robert G. Brown wrote:

> Note well that for most folks, once you get a cluster node installed and
> working, there is little incentive to EVER upgrade the OS except for
> administrative convenience. We still have (I'm ashamed to say) nodes
> running RH 7.3. Why not? They are protected behind a firewall, they
> are stable (obviously:-), they work.

Hmm... crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.

You have to have an OS installed on your nodes for which security
updates are available, or else you can really get caught with your pants
down. You should know as well as I do that your users are scientists and
academics, they are not security professionals. They'll pick bad
passwords, log in from Winblows terminals which have been infected with
virae, keyloggers, etc. In short, you lower the security of the system
to that of your least secure user.

At least if your systems are updated, the chance of an attack escalating
priviledge and making the situation serious is small. You can give Mr.
Sloppy The Lecture, restore his files from backup, and be on your merry way.

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

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