[Beowulf] Torrents for HPC

Bernd Schubert bs_lists at aakef.fastmail.fm
Thu Jun 14 09:30:45 PDT 2012

[I'm moving that from your digest answer to the general discussion thread]

> On 06/13/2012 06:25 PM, Greg Keller wrote:>
>> What about an easy to setup cluster file system such as FhGFS? As one of
>> its developers I'm a bit biased of course, but then I'm also familiar
>> with Lustre, an I think FhGFS is far more easiy to setup. We also do not
>> have the problem to run clients and servers on the same node and so of
>> our customers make heavy use of that and use their compute nodes as
>> storage servers. That should a provide the same or better throughput as
>> your torrent system.
>> Cheers,
>> Bernd
> We've been curious about FhGFS but the licensing did not leave us
> confident we would always have access to it if we integrated it into our
> business and made available to our users.  Serious success could
> essentially cause an epic failure if the license made it expensive to us
> (as commercial users) suddenly.  As a "cloud" based hpc provider I
> thought it was too risky and have been happy with Lustre and it's
> affiliates.
> Specifically this clause could be a problem:
> 3.2 LICENSEE may NOT:
> ...
> - rent or lease the LICENSED SOFTWARE and DOCUMENTATION to any third party
> ...
> Does anyone think the license was intended to block cloud providers making
> it available as part of a cloud based HPC solution?  Am I mis-interpreting this?
> Not looking for a legal-ese battle but I am wondering if other licenses commonly
> used in cloud contexts have similar language.  Anyone think the FS is fantastic
 > enough that I should fight (spend money on lawyers and licenses) to 
put it in
 > front of "Cloud" HPC users?

Arg, such issues are exactly the reason why I don't like contracts and 
laws written by lawyers. Instead of writing with 'normal' words 
understandable by everyone, they have their own language, which nobody 
can understand is entirely unclear. I'm not sure if they do understand 
themselves what they have written... Given the high number of useless 
lawsuits probably not.

This clause is about charging for the licensed software (i.e. fhgfs), 
not about services around fhgfs. Neither this clause nor any other 
clause in the EULA is intended or prohibits that you provide fhgfs to 
cloud users.

So this particular clause just says that you are not allowed to charge 
money for allowing people to use fhgfs. So it actually protects users 
from paying for a software, which is in fact free to use for everyone, 
no matter if it's a commercial user or not.

On the other hand, you are still free to charge customers for services 
around fhgfs, e.g. you might charge your cloud customers for installing 
fhgfs or maintaining it or something like that - if that's what you have 
in mind.

Please let us know if this is sufficient for you to consider FhGFS in 
the future or if we again should work with our Fraunhofer lawyers to 
improve the license.


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