[Beowulf] How Can Microsoft's HPC Server Succeed?
james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Apr 4 09:11:24 EDT 2008
Quoting Mehmet Suzen <mehmet.suzen at gmail.com>, on Thu 03 Apr 2008
02:35:48 PM PDT:
> On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 12:44 AM, Greg Byshenk <gbyshenk at byshenk.net> wrote:
>> On Wed, Apr 02, 2008 at 03:04:28PM -0700, Jon Forrest wrote:
>> > But, the question remains. How can Microsoft compete with free?
>> > How much better will they have to be than standard Linux
>> > clusters before they get any mainstream interest? What technical
>> > features could they add that couldn't be added to a Linux
>> > cluster?
>> The thing to remember is that a cluster (even one running "free" --
>> as in beer -- software) is not without cost. Apart from hardware,
>> licenses (if required), etc., a business will also have to find
>> (and pay) someone to build and maintain the cluster.
> It is VERY important to be clear about one point. This argument must
> NOT imply that using proprietary software to built a cluster does not
> require any
> work-force (someone) or no training needed to operate it. At the end
> of the day
> building a cluster is a technological business, you need to hire
> someone or a monkey in order to click on buttons for installation or
But, when you say "build and maintain" a cluster, do you mean
separately ordering all the machines, routers, cables, racking, and
installing them and getting them working (and then the followon
maintenance of installing new versions of software from the vendors,
cleaning air filters)...
At this level, you're pretty OS-independent. It's only when you need
to start "developing" new software for this putative small cluster
that the environment becomes really important.
It's pretty much a given that any sort of *commercial* cluster
distribution, whether shrink wrap from Redmond or carefully crafted by
one of the cluster vendors on this list will come with some reasonable
set of tools to do things like reboot, manage jobs, etc. If the user
interface for those tools resembles the user interface that your
would-be admin is familiar with (e.g. Microsoft Management Console,
etc.) then all is good.
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