Cluster Poll Results (tangent into OS choices)

Glen Otero glen at
Mon Nov 3 21:42:09 EST 2003

On Monday, November 3, 2003, at 03:51  PM, Mike Snitzer wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 31 2003 at 13:37,
> Wei Deng <weideng at> wrote:
>> On Fri, Oct 31, 2003 at 02:44:59PM -0500, Vann H. Walke wrote:
>>> - OSCAR / Rocks / etc...  - generally installed on top of another
>>> distribution.  We still have to pick a base distribution.
>> From what I heard from Rocks mailing list, they will release 3.1.0 the
>> next Month, which will be based on RHEL 3.0, compiled from source code
>> that is publicly available, and free of charge.
> Rebuilding RHEL3 into a freebie-ripoff version doesn't pass the 
> smile-test
> for corporations trying to coexist and actually work with Red Hat.

Really? Is that why Dell, HP, Cray, Promicro, and Intel all work with 
and/or sell Rocks-based clusters? Because it won't pass the smile test 
inside a corporation?

> Why
> not focus that questionable rebuilding effort on a more worthwhile 
> task?
> E.g. porting Fedora Core to support amd64, ia64, etc; adding features 
> to
> Fedora Core that are relevant to clustering, etc.
>> Even though Rocks is based on RedHat distribution, it is complete, 
>> which
>> means you only need to download Rocks ISOs to accomplish your
>> installation.
> All well and good, but basing a "complete" clustering solution on a 
> reverse
> engineered RHEL is completely underhanded and wrong (regardless of 
> whether
> you feel RH is being greedy or whatever).  Ripping off RHEL is a pretty
> cheap contribution to the advancement of free clustering technology.  
> But
> maybe this type of thing gets peoples' ROCKS off?

It's hardly reverse engineered, underhanded, or wrong. The Rocks guys 
have been releasing their software for years based on standard Red Hat 
releases. In order to make their cluster software freely available on 
ia64, they built RH AS 2.1 from srpms, which is perfectly legal. They 
also had planned to base the Rocks software on RH9 in the near future, 
but RH decided to stop supporting everything but RHEL. So, in order to 
continue to provide the community with the latest and greatest 
clustering software with a Red Hat foundation, the Rocks guys are 
migrating to a RHEL release.  And in order to keep it free of charge, 
they are building it all from scratch using RHEL srpms. And don't think 
they are pulling one over on Red Hat or ripping Red Hat off. The Rocks 
crew communicates frequently with Red Hat regarding these very issues. 
Red Hat knows exactly what they are doing and supports it.  Besides, 
the technology that makes Rocks what it is is hardly due to anything 
Red Hat creates. It's all the software that the Rocks crew has written 
and packaged on top of Red Hat that matters.

> Mike
> (these views are my own; I just happen to work for a clustering 
> company ;)

These views are my own. I just happen to own a clustering company.

Glen Otero, Ph.D.
Linux Prophet

Glen Otero, Ph.D.
Linux Prophet

Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit

More information about the Beowulf mailing list