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

Chris Samuel csamuel at vpac.org
Sat Apr 5 18:46:03 PDT 2008

----- "Jim Lux" <james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:

> Quoting Chris Samuel <csamuel at vpac.org>, on Fri 04 Apr 2008 12:47:09 AM PDT:
> > Seriously though, my concern is about the impact of the
> > essential anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spyware
> > software on each node of the system be ?
> Why would you need such a thing?  Are you reading email and browsing  
> the web from you cluster nodes?  Do you have users downloading the  
> latest e-birthday card or nifty *free* game on the nodes.  I think  
> not.  They're sitting behind a head node or similar.

Maybe, or maybe they're submitting their compiled executable from
a Windows GUI on their desktop, which just happens to be the same
machine that they use for reading email, Internet Exploder, et. al.

> I wouldn't put AV software of any kind on the nodes.  heck, if you  
> have a problem, you'd just wipe and reinstall from known good media.

True, but without A/V software you'd need to rely on other methods
to detect that you had a problem (node dies, your IDS system picks
up outbound SMTP, IRC, etc, connections, etc).

> > Who could seriously consider running *any* Windows box these
> > days without them ?
> If you're running quasi-real time software (e.g. Labview) doing  
> instrument controls?

Hmm, I suppose so, but to be honest it'd scare the daylights out of me. :-)

> It's perfectly reasonable to run Windows machines without virus  
> checkers, etc., if you have a fairly decent software configuration  
> management process in place.

Academic researchers do seem to have this ability to
accidentally get around these sorts of things, unless
you've removed the floppy, CD/CD and plugged the USB
ports with glue.. :-)

> > Not least on a system that is designed to have random people
> > login in and run their applications on.
> Relatively few clusters fit in that category.

Maybe, but most of the ones that I deal with do..

Christopher Samuel - (03) 9925 4751 - Systems Manager
 The Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing
 P.O. Box 201, Carlton South, VIC 3053, Australia
VPAC is a not-for-profit Registered Research Agency

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