[Beowulf] noob understanding

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Sat May 20 08:13:51 PDT 2006

I know MSFT is starting to push into clustering - the nature of the beast
is that it must always seek to expand, to get a finger in every pie.
without touching all pies, the economic "network effect" collapses.

I personally have a strong aesthetic attraction to the Linux approach,
but think there are rational reasons as well.  financial arguments, while
true, often devolve into how easily (and $) you can get skilled help.

managability, flexibility and robustness would probably be how I argue
for a linux cluster to run windows jobs.  with Linux underneath, you 
always have really excellent ability to simply ssh to a node and see 
what's going on.  for me at least, trying to figure out why a windows
job is misbehaving is always voodoo.  perhaps windows experts have some 
magic set of add-on tools that give them the level of insight that seems
almost effortless under linux.

for apps not as compute-bound as rendering, virtualizing windows apps 
on a linux cluster would also give you the ability to do some nice 

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