[Beowulf] General cluster management tools - Re: Southampton engineers a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer

Andrew Holway andrew.holway at gmail.com
Sun Sep 16 13:43:57 PDT 2012

>> This is also demonstrably false. Just because cluster vendor A is
>> using a completely open source stack does not mean that you have any
>> less risk then Cluster Vendor B with their proprietary closed source
>> stack.
> Risk is a function of your control over the stack against small or large
> change of business operations of one of the suppliers.  If one of the
> critical elements of your stack is completely closed, you have no
> control over that aspect, and cannot change it out without incurring
> great cost/time/effort, yes, that is, by definition, an increased risk
> versus a functionally similar part (of similar operational level and
> quality) which is completely open.

Its part of the risk. If you sign a contract with a cluster software
vendor that they will support those features for X amount of years
then you have mitigated that risk. In comparison, you have no control
over the open source community. It could be that support for a
critical part of your infrastructure is no longer supported because
the lead dev decides he wants to spend more time licking frogs in the
amazon. You are powerless to prevent this.

By your criteria I could easily argue that the risk with opensource is
higher then with proprietary software.

case in point: We have based a reasonable chunk of our backend
infrastructure on openindiana. http://lwn.net/Articles/514046/. What
do we do now?

> You said my thesis is demonstrably false, and I provided the simple
> argument that supports my thesis.  Your argument is ... what?  You disagree?

Your saying that open source software is somehow less risky than
proprietary software. I dont see any evidence for this.

>> I have seen Rocks clusters that are an utter bag of shieße because the
>> people deploying it had no clue and also seen Clusters based on Bright
>> et al that were perfectly executed. And vice versa for that matter.
> We understand that you are currently engaged in a Bright Cluster Manager
> deployment.  We are (see company info in .sig) , for the record, a
> reseller (in the past anyway) of their tools (though we haven't sold any
> for a number of reasons that I won't get into).  Do you have a business
> relationship with them?  I see no problem advocating for them if you
> disclose your interests, though Chris S/Doug E/...  are the arbiters.

I dont have a business relationship with them. They just let me play
with their toys. In any case, its not about Bright. Its about your
original statement that open source deployments are less risky than
closed source deployments.

> And here I thought we were having a nice discussion, and you slip in a
> little snide comment like this.  Sad.

It was a joke Joe! I was making a point that blind adherence to open
source can be a bad thing if a better supported, closed source
alternative exists. By the same stroke, Blind adherence to proprietary
is also a bad idea when a plethora of truly fantastic software is out
there for free! Horses for courses etc.

> And for the record, our tools (Tiburon's core
> functionality) is completely open.  Its written in Perl, and if we were
> hit by a bus in a physical or metaphorical sense, our customers could
> continue to get support by paying someone to do this.

At what cost? My googles of Tiburon yielded no results whatsoever. If
you dropped dead tomorrow who would be there to support your stack?
There is nothing on sourceforge or Github...

In addition. Could we, a company of 15 people pay for the continued
development and support of OpenIndina?

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