[Beowulf] Application Deployment

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Sun Oct 10 08:55:54 PDT 2004

> require training, expertise, etc.  Sure, for Linux, the actual software is
> free, but that's a small fraction of the $100K/yr you're paying to folks to
> use the software.

very interesting.  one structural disadvantage that the windows ecosystem
does labor under is that it must stick to the OS-really-installed-on-desktop
model.  that is, msft is not quite ready to go to a ephemeral-client model,
where desktops just PXE-boot and mount everything of consequence across
the net.  (not just thin-client, where clients are all hard-installed, but
use only a thin app like a browser for whatever the user needs.)

with lan-ipmi and pxe, it's almost reasonable to claim that support
doesn't scale with increasing nodes.  there are still costs that scale
with number of users, number of apps.  hardware maintenance always 
scales with number of moving parts, but for ephemeral clients, it's 
far easier to have spares.  the infrastructure to support 1K clients 
all booting monday morning would be nontrivial, but very tractable.

no doubt the lack of nazi DRM (uncontrolled and dangerous network!)
is why the msft community hasn't taken this approach.

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