[Beowulf] OS for 64 bit AMD

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Sun Apr 3 09:46:39 PDT 2005

> (2) Reducing the finger pointing loop when things go wrong in complex IT 
> configurations. This has only happened to me once or twice but as an 

this is a great argument if you've actually got a cluster which 
has a single, fixed use.  my world is a completely general HPC provider,
and we certainly can't pander to some single application's bug-compatibility
with a particular distro.

this is simply part of the cost that an end-user must bear
when choosing to invest in a commercial package.  I think 
such users all too frequently overlook this: yes, they get 
something called "support", but that support drasticallly
limits where they can run the app.

> example: If I have to connect a cluster I/O node to an enterprise SAN 
> fabric I'd rather my linux host OS be something that the SAN/FC switch 
> vendor officially certifies and has qualified. The cost of the 

FC is one of my favorate peeves - a whole industry where the standard
is so low that none of them actually interoperate.  put commodity disks
in company X's SAN shelf!  heavens to betsy!  that's unsupported...

contrast this to a *real*, honest standard like ethernet, where everyone 
really does expect nics/switches/packets/udp/tcp even nfs/cifs to just play
nice together.  yes, there are occasional problems with some obscure corner
like Cisco 10/100 autonegotiation - but Cisco is an FC-esque vendor...

vendors love lock-in.  ignorant or naive users don't notice lock-in.
certain categories of admins love lock-in because of the job security
that accrues from managing crappy fragile stuff.  but as the computer 
industry matures, more people are realizing that lock-in is the antithesis
to standardization.  my only fear is that the legal/political profession
will continue riding the fallacy of "intellectual property".  

that's a great analogy, that IP is like a huge, ongoing traffic disaster,
with the lawyers and politicians chasing the ambulances.

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