Cluster Poll Results (tangent into OS choices)
landman at scalableinformatics.com
Tue Nov 4 17:50:57 EST 2003
Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
>There is a problem here: the sky is falling, and no-one is listening to
And I thought it was just a business sea change :0
>There may be an alternative which will guarantee you code freedom,
>won't charge for licenses in any event, won't bow to "commercial"
>pressure and won't restrict your code use/re-use/modification/distribution.
>If you want an ultra stable platform to which you can freely contribute
>code and which you can use for any purpose - try Debian "stable".
There are interesting bits in debian. I am not sure it is necessarily
the right choice for clusters due to the specific lack of commercial
support for cluster specific items such as Myrinet, and the other high
speed interconnects. Commercial compiler support for Debian (e.g.
Intel, Absoft, et al) is largely non-existant as far as I know (please
do correct me if I am wrong). Few if any commercial applications are
certified to work on Debian (Oracle, Legato, ....) and again, please
correct me if I am wrong.
I simply don't see this as a universally viable alternative. Debian
does indeed have lots of nice technical things going for it. Maybe I am
missing some obvious point here. I do know some people have built
clusters using it, but a few clusters does not a clustering distribution
make. I believe someone at Cornell built Windows 2000 into a cluster.
Doesn't make Win2k a clustering OS though.
The distribution matters less than the overall support for what you want
to do with it. I believe that it might be possible to build a Gentoo
based cluster, though I would be concerned about the length of time for
an OS load, among other things. One of the hardest parts of a cluster
is getting the OS on. ROCKS, BioBrew (and I understand Warewulf) make
this ridiculously easy. Increasing the setup/management time, or making
your life harder in general, doesn't make much sense. There is a
Knoppix variant that does clustering (OpenMosix style). Not sure it is
the best solution, but I would like to hear from anyone using it.
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 612 4615
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