[GE users] Screencast/blog post on SGE 6.2u5 install on OS X

jbhoren jbhoren at alaska.edu
Mon Feb 8 21:29:34 GMT 2010

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On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 11:35 AM, cdwan <cdwan at bioteam.net<mailto:cdwan at bioteam.net>> wrote:

Is anybody from Apple reading this email list?

I'm not from Apple, but having built a couple of Apple clusters, I'll go ahead with a small defense:

The XServe (Apple's rackmount server) is a decent machine for a lot of applications.  OS X Server is quite a powerful operating system.  The GUIs for managing LDAP user authentication, apache, DNS, DHCP, and a few other services are quite good.  In particular, if you're tasked to manage a room full of Apple workstations for a mid sized community of users - these servers are an excellent solution.

If you're already able to build and administer a Linux server from scratch (i.e:  You incur no cost from having to deal directly with the services at the level of configuration files), then of course you should evaluate machines on the basis of raw cost and performance.  Many of the users I've met perceive that administrative cost as nonzero, so there is some value to the GUI tools.  Of course, some of us who live our lives through SSH connections have come to hate GUIs with a passion.

Similarly, there are some advantages to a cluster of OS X machines - even the pseudo cluster you mention - for specific users and specific use cases.  I'm not familiar with the process priority flaw that you mention.  However, I've watched more than a few dyed-in-the-wool Linux cluster administrators frustrate themselves to no end trying to force OS X to *be* Linux.  It's not.  It's something different.  For some use cases, viva la difference.  For others, go buy yourself a cluster of generic x86_64 boxes - or use Amazon's EC2.

If your benchmark for the goodness of an operating system is something like "goodness = the inverse of the difference between this thing from Linux," you should probably just go ahead and use Linux.  Similarly for folks experienced enough to architect their own cluster from the ground up.

Well said! But, for those of us who "inherited" a Mac OS X cluster, the counter-intuitive Mac OS X way of doing things is not so easily dismissed; neither is the way Apple managed to "ruin" a perfectly good OS (the BSDish base). What's more, the move from SystemStarter to Launch Daemon ought to have been accompanied by a script-conversion tool; or, at least, one of those pesky GUIs for converting/creating Launch Daemon scripts.

Finally, ever try to follow/troubleshoot an XServe reboot, without a Mac OS X laptop/notebook? Wouldn't a serial port be nice!

Systems Administrator
UAF Life Science Informatics
Center for Research Services
jbhoren at alaska.edu<mailto:jbhoren at alaska.edu>

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