RHEL Copyright Removal

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Sat Nov 22 14:51:46 EST 2003

> - i think, imho,  "support" is the most expensive part of the cluster's
>   TCO and the hardware is relatively in-expensive in comparason ..

depends.  some components of TCO scale with cluster size (fixing hardware
failures, initial hardware cost, power, cooling).  others scale with 
some function of the userbase (clueless ones require more support).
but in this case, we're talking about the kind of support offered by 
dists and OS's: it doesn scale with cluster size at all, since the cluster
is basically a single machine.

> - $ 200/server *  50 machines ( $10K ) is still inexpensive compared to
>    hiring an outsourced "linux support"

but that's silly - for the cost of a person, you get a lot more than 
what's offered by OS/dist support.

in summary, RH is doing a sensible thing.  there's a market for OS/dists
sold to "high-maintenance" users who can't or don't want to learn the 
details, and don't have someone else to do it.  but it's silly to think
that that kind of maintenance contract should scale with cluster size.
it's also clear that there will continue to be low-maintenance dists
(and afaikt, that's exactly what Fedora is.)

I suppose that in a very indirect way, the cost to support a large cluster
does scale with size.  that is, if you have 1K CPUs that won't work at all,
you should be willing to pay more than $200 for support.

$200/machine is silly though, since these days, a node can easily be 
$2k or less, and 10% is simply too much.

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