[Beowulf] General cluster management tools - Re: Southampton engineers a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer
hahn at mcmaster.ca
Sun Sep 16 08:53:30 PDT 2012
> post about people and politics: The myth that commercial software has
> better support. It seems managers always want to buy commercial software
> it's supposed to have better support.
it's about risk aversion. when people are launched (or climb) into
positions of authority, their risk aversion goes through the roof.
some people/organizations try to address this; others just become
it's really unfortunate and actually relevant to this list. at one time,
"beowulf" implied a certain amount of daring - repurposing of hardware
intended basically for desktop use, DIY OS installs, custom-compiled
how many clusters built this year will just be a bunch of nodes bid
from a big-name vendor? I suspect that tweaking (inherently risky,
but also inherently valuable) is pretty much limited to tiny clusters,
where no risk-averse personage is involved. I think this is a real
shame, since it means there basically are no interesting clusters
anymore: every meal is gruel (you can survive that way, but...)
I sometimes wonder whether organizations should aim a particular
fraction of their budget at higher-risk projects. I know companies
like google and facebook are quite deliberate at cultivating risk,
but there's a lot less derring-do in, say, a multi-institutional
academic HPC consortium.
is it just a matter of risk-to-payoff calculations? it's hard to
supply either number, which leads the risk-averse to always go conservative.
(a phenomenon present in politics, I suppose!)
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