[Beowulf] Redmond is at it, again

Jeffrey B. Layton laytonjb at charter.net
Thu May 27 16:19:27 PDT 2004

Greg Lindahl wrote:

>On Tue, May 25, 2004 at 05:42:06PM -0400, Jeffrey B. Layton wrote:
>>In fact, the last quote I got for a 72 node cluster averaged about
>>$400 a node! Now management has started to compare this price
>>to Windows
>'Doctor, it hurts when I try to buy cluster software from a
>non-cluster company!'

I love that quote! It would make a good .sig!

>I don't know why you seem to think that only SuSE or Red Hat is the
>place to go for Linux support. You mention later in your note that you
>do talk to cluster vendors. I know of several who provide Linux
>support for a reasonable fee. It would seem that your bean counters
>would like that approach. I can't figure out from your explaination
>why you don't buy from them.

Well the explanation is long and ugly :) The cluster vendors we talk
to offer and support Linux at a reasonable price. However, our
management folks don't like these cluster vendors because they aren't
big enough. They like the large 2 or 3 letter companies or the short
name companies :) These companies won't or didn't quote Linux as
part of the integrated cluster. They forced us to buy it and they would
install it. Not the best choice in my opinion (which I love to point out
to management every time I can), but the decision was made by those
higher than me who seemingly share one brain cell.

Every time I warn management that large does not mean stable and
that Enron and Worldcom are perfect examples, they say that the
fate of these two companies won't befall the large computer vendors.
When I mention to them that Enron and Worldcom said the same
thing and even said that they had money in the bank when they
went bankrupt (oh, the wonders of creative accounting), they mumble
something and then stop talking about it.

I also point out that the companies with the most cluster experience
and who sell more cluster systems (i.e. nodes) than anyone else is
not a big initial or short name company. They DEFINITELY don't
like to hear this. When you throw in that these cluster companies
are also usually cheaper, management gets down right irate! Then
those familiar words come floating out, "Jeff - shut up." That's about
the closest I've come to a compliment yet.

So, I hope from my rant - part deux - you see my problem. You can
also see that rgb has been a bad influence on me in my mailing list
posts :)



>-- greg (no longer a cluster vendor, and yes, PathScale's compilers do
>support more than just SLES and RHEL -- our customers require it.)

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