Cluster Poll Results (tangent into OS choices)

Mike Snitzer msnitzer at
Tue Nov 4 00:58:14 EST 2003

On Mon, Nov 03 2003 at 19:42,
Glen Otero <glen at> wrote:

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

Could be that the larger corporations in your list embraced Rocks before
this enterprise distro vs. no-cost distro became an issue.  I _really_
doubt those corporations would do themselves any justice in the eyes 
of RedHat by undermining RedHat's enterprise offering by having an
educational institution broker RHEL rebuilds.

All of this debate over RHEL repackaging appropriateness is interesting to
me.  I have explored this as an option and arrived at the fact that it
really doesn't offer anything of real value; simply offers a free-beer
solution to an otherwise expensive product.  Which obviously is invaluable
to Rocks and many others on this list. 

> > 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).
> 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.

I never said rebuilding RHEL is illegal; simply stated that I felt it was
underhanded and wrong; we're all entitled to our opinions.  I guess the
Rocks people are at peace with their chosen engineering roadmap.

> 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.

Thats a bold statement; Rocks' dependency on RH is implicit and hacking
RHEL to be "free" requires significant effort on the part of rocks
developers (even though they play it down).  Also there is this post that
points out just how important Red Hat is to Rocks:

Also, nice to see you cross posted to the rocks-discussion, for the
benefit of those on the beowulf list, Mason Katz (mjk at had an
informative reply:

It would appear as though Rocks is free and clear to openly redistribute
RHEL SRPM-rebuilds; this is an interesting loop-hole:

 - Rocks released by an academic institution, which means it has a 
license to use the RedHat trademark.  This also means no one can charge 
for Rocks software (only support).


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