[Beowulf] Gentoo in the HPC environment

rf at q-leap.de rf at q-leap.de
Sun Jun 29 08:54:20 PDT 2014

>>>>> "Gerald" == Gerald Henriksen <ghenriks at gmail.com> writes:

    Gerald> On Sat, 28 Jun 2014 16:54:34 +0200, you wrote:
    >> Rapidly changing distros is mentioned in the response. What would
    >> classify a rapidly changing distro.

    Gerald> Rapidly changing would be Fedora/Mint/Ubuntu with their 6
    Gerald> month release schedules, as opposed to Red Hat or the long
    Gerald> term release version of Mint/Ubuntu, or Debian.

    Gerald> The 6 month cycle is as short as you can get and still have
    Gerald> any sort of realistic amount of testing.

    >> Take ubuntu is there six month release cycle quick enough and
    >> even then they still wont have the latest versions of software.

    Gerald> But they will have new enough versions of languages and
    Gerald> libraries so that you can easily compile almost anything
    Gerald> else (that is either not in the distribution, or not new
    Gerald> enough).

    >> New versions of software are being released daily and please
    >> correct if im wrong but most distros do not release anything
    >> newer shortly there after it coming out.

    Gerald> Actually, in most cases there is about a 2 month prior to
    Gerald> release cut off to allow for testing and bug fixing prior to
    Gerald> release.

    Gerald> But in most cases this is not an issue.  The issue is with
    Gerald> Red Hat or any other LTS type release where the languages
    Gerald> (either compiler or interpreter) and libraries are several
    Gerald> generations out of date.

    Gerald> It comes down to what you want/need.  There are parts of the
    Gerald> software industry where you don't want change, once you get
    Gerald> something working you want it kept that way.  For these
    Gerald> people Red Hat and its competitors are ideal, and they
    Gerald> provide Red Hat with a very good revenue stream.

    Gerald> For others they need newer compilers or libraries, so they
    Gerald> need to put up with the short support lifecyles of a
    Gerald> Fedora/Mint/Ubuntu in order to get those features (or luck
    Gerald> into and freeze on a newly released Red Hat/LTS).

We at Qlustar try to provide a compromise between the two extremes
(rapid change / LTS): The core platform of our main releases is based on
Ubuntu LTS (Qlustar 8.x.y on 12.04, 9.x.y on 14,04), so long term
support for the basic OS stuff. Anything Linux clustering (HPC, Storage,
Cloud) related + kernel/drivers on the other hand can be updated in
feature releases 8.1, 8.2, etc. so you have the option of moving on with
newer Slurm, Lustre, OpenMPI, etc. while staying on a long term
supported base infrastructure. Also new stuff can enter feature releases
(e.g. BeeGFS or OpenStack/Ceph support in 8.2).

The same principle applies for Debian (as an edge platform): Currently
staying on wheezy while adding up-to-date HPC stuff in feature
releases. Dito for future supported edge platforms (some RPM based
distro). Thanks Joe for the pointer about the CentOS allowed usage
change. We'll have to think a little more about how to best provide
support for that area now.

Generally Qlustar added stuff is always provided in exactly the same
versions on all supported distros (core/edge platforms (within a
particular release, say 8.1). Security or bug fix stuff comes in via
proposed updates or as a bundle with a maintenance release.


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