[Beowulf] Gentoo in the HPC environment

Gavin W. Burris bug at wharton.upenn.edu
Thu Jun 26 08:38:50 PDT 2014

On Thu 06/26/14 10:43AM -0400, Prentice Bisbal wrote:
> I think you're missing Ellis' point about serving the needs of the users,
> but you do make a valid point, that is a constant source of pain for system
> admins in general, not just HPC - we often can't justify hours (more like
> days or weeks) of work to support a feature that benefit one user for a
> short period of time, especially if that work takes us away from working on
> things that will benefit many other users in the long run.
> Yes, this is a very simplified argument, and there's a lot of factors that
> go into proper cost-benefit analysis, but it's common for a researcher to
> ask us admins to devote an inordinate amount of time for a request that will
> benefit some pet issue of theirs, but not provide ANY value to any other
> user or the organization. Again - this is a simplified argument and
> statement - don't flame me. I don't want to go too far off-topic on this
> thread.

Agreed, Prentice.  This is a line we all walk.  If I can do something in
15 minutes, I'll just do it.  If it is going to require a significant
amount of staff time, we have to have a sit-down meeting to discuss a
formal project, including budget.  This typically weeds out the pet
issues or wishlist items, and let's the important things get done.

Gavin W. Burris
Senior Project Leader for Research Computing
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania

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