[Beowulf] Gentoo in the HPC environment

Jonathan Aquilina jaquilina at eagleeyet.net
Wed Jun 25 14:51:47 PDT 2014

You guys mention perl and I learned an interesting hackish way to get the
latest version of perl on ones system.

Have you perl guys used perlbrews before. I set up a perlbrew setup for a
centos vm template at the Data center I used to work at. I had tried to
upgrade the system perl and that broke the entire installation, but
eventually i found out you could setup the latest version of perl though
the perlbrews with out touching the systems perl. All you need to do on
reboot is have it source the appropriate file so the perlbrew is loaded.

> On 06/25/2014 03:42 PM, Gavin W. Burris wrote:
>> On Wed 06/25/14 05:29PM +0000, Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
>>> RHEL doesn't cut it for these people: they know that they want later
>>> GCC / different commercial compilers / hand written assembly
>> Any OS flavor will allow for all of these, including RHEL.  I'm not sure
>> how RHEL prevents any of this.
> How much of the rest of your environment do you need to recompile to
> make sure the ABI/API changes don't introduce mismatched impedance bugs?
> We've largely given up on trying to get Red Hat to use a Perl that was
> released this decade.  They have a history of breaking dev tools (gcc
> 2.96 anyone?  Perl 5.8.x with the broken patches causing allocations to
> take 100x the time they normally required.  Python 2.x, for x<7, causing
> massive breakage in other stacks).
> So we build our own tools in our own tree, and its on every node.  Not
> impossible in Red Hat/CentOS, but we have to work around some of these
> ABI/API and library changes.
>>> -  a later kernel with a smarter scheduler ...
>> I'd really like to be sold on the latest 3.x kernel scheduler, but I am
>> not sure that it would provide a significant performance improvement for
>> a loaded compute node.
> You are aware that the good folks at Red Hat backport some useful things
> from later kernels ...
>>> At this point, you might as well get your local team to support Debian
>>> on this - and you will have all the extra packages that Debian may
>>> provide over RHEL :)
>> I like having a local team.  But I like backing them up, too.  When they
>> hit a weird hardware error or performance problem, they should be able
>> to call an expert systems engineer that has the aggregate experience
>> from many deployments.
> ... which, as often as not, leads to some profoundly interesting
> failures and performance regressions.  Think the THP fiasco.  6.2 and
> prior releases.  The tuned monstrosity. Etc.
> No one is trying to tell you that you should look at other distros.  But
> I might suggest that others have perfectly valid reasons for
> consideration of alternative distros, and the arguments you are using to
> justify this one distro aren't quite as strong as you might think.
> --
> Joseph Landman, Ph.D
> Founder and CEO
> Scalable Informatics, Inc.
> email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
> web  : http://scalableinformatics.com
> twtr : @scalableinfo
> phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
> cell : +1 734 612 4615
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