[Beowulf] The end of Sun Grid Engine?

Joshua Baker-LePain jlb17 at duke.edu
Mon Aug 23 11:35:12 PDT 2010

On Mon, 23 Aug 2010 at 2:11pm, Joe Landman wrote

> Douglas Eadline wrote:
>> Is there someone on the list who is following the Oracle/Sun Grid Engine
>> situation that can explain what the plan is?
>> I have read that it is no longer freely available.
>>   http://insidehpc.com/2010/08/20/sun-gridengine-now-100-less-free/
>> Although previous version up until 6.2u5 are under the SISSL
>>   http://www.opensource.org/licenses/sisslpl.php
> Short version as I understand it
> 1) binaries are 60 day evaluation limited by license.  You want different 
> options you either a) pay Oracle (a reasonable thing to do, and no, I am not 
> in their employ), or b) build your own.

To clarify a few minor points here (again, as *I* understand it), the eval 
period is actually 90 days and does *not* apply to the "courtesy 
binaries", which are available up to and including 6.2u5 and are missing a 
couple of modules.  The concerns on the SGE list seem to have arisen 
because a) there are no courtesy binaries for 6.2u6, b) no post-6.2u5 
patches have made it to the source repository, and c) there has been 
little to no word from Oracle as to future plans for source code access 
and courtesy binaries.

> I am not sure the issues is as problematic as it seemed at first glance, it 
> depends upon the license cost, terms, etc. for commercial support.

I think it's rather problematic for some users.  As I mentioned on the SGE 
list, IME academic clusters keep their licensing costs as low as possible 
(PIs *hate* spending money on anything other than cores).  Whatever Oracle 
is charging (and especially if it's based on core/socket/node count), I 
practically guarantee you it's more than most academic clusters would pay.

> In short, ugh.  Its a little bit of a mess, but largely because the community 
> wasn't prepared for the changes.  Some folks are re-evaluating their usage 
> over this, some are taking a wait and see.  I'd advise the latter.  I don't 
> think its the end of the world.  Its SISSL, so in theory anyway, its open. 
> You just can't admix it with other good open tools, the vast majority of 
> which are decidedly non SISSL.  At least not easily admixed.

I agree with the wait and see stance, although if the already-started 
"fork" can work out some of the bugs in 6.2u5 (as they seem highly 
motivated to do), it will probably gain traction pretty quickly (barring 
more open movements from Oracle).

Joshua Baker-LePain
QB3 Shared Cluster Sysadmin

More information about the Beowulf mailing list