[Beowulf] Redmond is at it, again

Martin WHEELER mwheeler at startext.co.uk
Wed Jun 2 20:01:37 EDT 2004

On Wed, 2 Jun 2004, Roger L. Smith wrote:

> I haven't touched
> anything but RedHat since 1995

Ah.  And knowing that this is a common situation, now all of a sudden
they want you to pay them, is that it?

> Clusters/Linux
> is only a portion of my job, and I'm not enthusiastic about spending a lot
> of time right now learning the ins and outs of a new distro.

Understandable.  (Although, from personal experience, perhaps not as
onerous as you might imagine.  Over here, like it or not, we *have* to
be polyvalent.  Goes with the terrain.)

> I have several very complicated and "you wouldn't believe me if I told
> you" expensive software packages that is critical to portions of our
> research.  Breaking this software is not an option.

And all the more reason (for me, at least) to make damn' sure it
runs on more than one distro!  But then maybe that's just my personal
paranoia showing.

> If I change to some
> obscure distro

Err ... what qualifies as 'obscure' here?
(In Europe, Debian, Mandrake, RedHat and SUSE are regarded as being much
of a muchness, both in takeup and performance.)

> , and the software breaks,
> and I can't fix it myself, I won't even have time to send out invitations
> to my own lynching.

What, no slave [grad./post-grad.] labour available?
[Now, there's a good dissertation subject: Security through Diversity.]

> Software vendors can't be expected to bless every kernel dot rev and every
> fly-by-night distro that may pop up.

Err... I wouldn't categorise any of Debian, Mandrake or SUSE as
'fly-by-night'.  Or obscure.

> Sure it'll probably work, but I'm
> not willing to bet my job on it.

Aye, and there's the nub.

RH marketing dept. 1; academics 0.

Time to re-think the match strategy, perhaps?

Martin Wheeler   -   StarTEXT / AVALONIX - Glastonbury - BA6 9PH - England
msw at startext.co.uk

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