[Beowulf] How Can Microsoft's HPC Server Succeed?

Mehmet Suzen mehmet.suzen at physics.org
Fri Apr 4 07:31:49 PDT 2008

On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 3:11 PM, Jim Lux <james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:
> > It is VERY important to be clear about one point. This argument must
> > NOT imply that using proprietary software to built a cluster does not
> > require any
> > work-force (someone) or no training needed to operate it. At the end  of
> the day
> > building a cluster is a  technological business,  you  need to hire
> > someone or a monkey in order to click on buttons for installation or
> > maintenance.
> >
>  But, when you say "build and maintain" a cluster, do you mean separately
> ordering all the machines, routers, cables, racking, and installing them and
> getting them working (and then the followon maintenance of installing new
> versions of software from the vendors, cleaning air filters)...

No, I was implying software related components of a cluster.

>  At this level, you're pretty OS-independent.  It's only when you need to
> start "developing" new software for this putative small cluster that the
> environment becomes really important.
>  It's pretty much a given that any sort of *commercial* cluster
> distribution, whether shrink wrap from Redmond or carefully crafted by one
> of the cluster vendors on this list will come with some reasonable set of
> tools to do things like reboot, manage jobs, etc.  If the user interface for
> those tools resembles the user interface that your would-be admin is
> familiar with (e.g. Microsoft Management Console, etc.) then all is good.

Still, this doesn't mean that cluster build on proprietary software
needs less software maintenance then a FOSS system.
The idea that using a FOSS software needs more technical knowledge
and human resources is simply a myth.

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