Of small decisions, large migrations come to pass

I had heard of some changes in the windows licensing model. Windows licensing is relevant if you are building a windows cluster, as you now have a new set of costs and usage restrictions atop your machine, that you simply don’t have with the alternatives.

Lets focus upon the question that cluster builders have to face. So you have this nice shiny new cluster with 30 or so new machines. You know you are going to cycle machines in and out of the cluster. And do reloads. This is par for the course, major maintenance is usually simpler done via re-install than trying to tweak N machines by hand. For those who don’t beleive me, try this when N>2 some time. You will understand it quickly.

Maybe I misunderstand something about the license, but it appears that you have 1 reinstallation with forthcoming Vista. Which means what for your cluster? Better not reload more than once?

Ouch.

When you see a sequence of bad decisions, sometimes a mixed metaphor is the appropriate response to help people understand exactly how bad a decision it is. My favorite in these cases is “giving them enough rope to blow their own toes off”.

I guess Microsoft *wants* people to explore alternatives. They are providing the incentive. From a cluster perspective, I guess I am going to have to ask some seriously point blank questions at SC06. No, not to embarrass. If we have a customer who has/wants a Vista cluster*, we need to understand *all* of the limitations, specifically ones on reloading.

Hopefully they will rethink this one. Hard.

* this is hypothetical.

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