Take Care When Updating Your Cluster

Although modern Linux distributions have made it very easy to keep your software packages up-to-date, there are some pitfalls you might encounter when managing your compute cluster.

Cluster software packages are usually not managed from the same software repository as the standard Linux packages, so the updater will unknowingly break compatibility. In particular, upgrading or changing the Linux kernel on your cluster may require manual re-configuration – particularly for systems with large storage, InfiniBand and/or GPU compute processor components. These types of systems usually require that kernel modules or other packages be recompiled against the new kernel.

Please keep in mind that updating the software on your cluster may break existing functionality, so don’t update just for the sake of updating! Plan an update schedule and notify users in case there is downtime from unexpected snags.

You may always contact Microway technical support before you update to find out what problems you should expect from running a software update.

Eliot Eshelman

About Eliot Eshelman

My interests span from astrophysics to bacteriophages; high-performance computers to small spherical magnets. I've been an avid Linux geek (with a focus on HPC) for more than a decade. I work as Microway's Vice President of Strategic Accounts and HPC Initiatives.
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