disadvantages of linux cluster - admin

Donald Becker becker at scyld.com
Wed Nov 6 16:14:16 EST 2002

On Wed, 6 Nov 2002, Nicholas Henke wrote:
> On Wed, 6 Nov 2002 09:11:21 -0500 (EST)
> "Robert G. Brown" <rgb at phy.duke.edu> wrote:
> >   * Shoot your users.  G'wan, admit it, you've thought about it.  They
> > just clutter up the computing landscape.  Well, OK, so we can't do
> > that<sigh>.  So user support costs are relatively difficult to
> > control, especially since it is a well known fact that all the things
> As someone who administers > 200 machines, I do not believe I have seen a
> more accurate statement. Hillarious!

Support costs are directly tied to the number of different application
configurations, not the number of users.  Google has a single
application, and the configuration changes slowly.  Most
academic/research sites have several applications that are run in
different ways by the users.

A similar rule applies for workstation deployment.  If every user has
the same type of machine running only a word processor, web browser and
email, a single administrator can handle hundreds of machines.  Put a
handful of developers, people that need the latest-and-greatest, and a
few software license managers into the mix and you almost need an
administrator per machine.

Donald Becker				becker at scyld.com
Scyld Computing Corporation		http://www.scyld.com
410 Severn Ave. Suite 210		Scyld Beowulf cluster system
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993

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