[Beowulf] Clusters and Distro Lifespans

Gerald Davies gerald.davies at gmail.com
Tue Jul 18 16:19:33 EDT 2006


> From: John Hearns <john.hearns at streamline-computing.com>
>
> Fedora isn't the only kid on the block, and given the short support
> lifetime I would recommend against using it in a cluster.
> Fedora is clearly aimed and billed as a cutting edge distro, which will
> have a release every six months.
> Most of our clusters have SuSE linux installed, which runs very well on
> Opteron/EMT64.
> Our commercial customers tend to go for Redhat Enterprise or SuSE SLES,
> for compatibility and support of ISV codes.

Hi all,

I'm new to posting, however, i do read the list :)

John's comment about the short support lifetime of FC raises one of my
concerns about distros and cluster set-ups in general.  In my
department we have RH/FC based clusters.  When purchased they came
with a pre-installed distro and have pxeboot/images.  I then spent
time tuning them to our needs.

My questions relating to this are:

i)  Is the practice of buying clusters with pre-installed distros popular?

ii) Would it be better to develop our own installation process for
clusters so that upgrades, in terms of distros, can be rolled out
easily?  I feel like i'm tied in some way to the supplier of our
cluster for upgrades.

iii) Do people regularly upgrade their clusters in relation to
distros?  I guess this is like asking how long is a piece of string
because everyone's needs are different.

Apologies if this sounds like a strange first post :)

Cheers,

Gerald
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