[Beowulf] Gentoo in the HPC environment

Jonathan Aquilina jaquilina at eagleeyet.net
Sat Jun 28 07:07:30 PDT 2014

You guys are mentioning installing applications in a modular way, couldnt
that be achieved in a chroot environment or by using an LXC container?


> On Wed 06/25/14 11:30AM -0400, Joe Landman wrote:
>> More often than not, commercial and closed source
>> applications are built and qualified (for support and guarantee of
>> functionality) against several very specific OS and library versions.
>> It is
>> rare, in my experience with this, that any of these are up-to-date
>> versions
>> of Red Hat or Red Hat derived distributions.
> In my experience, Red Hat is often the first, if not the only, supported
> OS for a commercial Linux application.  This is due to the
> aforementioned lifecycle support and predictable ABI/API.
>> one unsupported platform is as good as the other, with the caveat that
>> one
>> needs to pay attention to the ease of management as well as other
>> things.
> Walking the well trodden path provides ease of management.  I don't want
> to deploy a custom OS stack and have to throw my hands in the air when I
> hit a difficult bug that brings operations to a halt.  I like hardware
> support.  I like talking to the systems engineers.  I have support on
> both Red Hat and CentOS (SL too).  Deploying things like InfiniBand and
> pNFS is easy and commercially supported with RHEL.
>> This is why stateless machines, booting an instance with a particular OS
>> for
>> a particular job, is a *far* more reasonable and workable approach than
> Stateless is cool, but I choose my battles.  Supporting multiple OS
> platforms is not a reasonable use of my time.  If the other-OS
> application really is the end-all-be-all, then maybe, in a VM.  I do
> have to check out Docker.
>> Err ... no.  The center of mass of the market has moved on to the faster
> I'm saying that you shouldn't change the base OS and its APIs, but _do_
> install the latest languages and applications in a modular way.
> Win-win.  Programmers get to choose the latest tools, with a solid base
> for those software builds, plus hardware support.
> Cheers,
> --
> Gavin W. Burris
> Senior Project Leader for Research Computing
> The Wharton School
> University of Pennsylvania
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