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June 27, 2003

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Gaël Duval and Mike Angelo Discuss Mandrake Business Products and Finances

MandrakeSoft Adds MandrakeClustering to Its Business and Enterprise Products Lineup

Business Products Helping MandrakeSoft Financial Position

Mike Angelo -- 27 June 2003 (C) (Updated 28 June2003)

Article Index

Mandrake Linux -- Products for Home, Office, and Enterprise

Mandrake's Good Financial News

MandrakeClustering Press Release

Resources

Mandrake's Good Financial News

After MandrakeSoft filed the equivalent of a U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it set about a restructuring designed to make MandrakeSoft a financially viable operation. We asked Gaël Duval about that in our e-mail discussions about the MandrakeClustering announcement.

MozillaQuest Magazine: How are you coming along with finances and the bankruptcy?

Gaël Duval: No "big news", but we have nearly finished our internal restructuring, with a strong commitment to doing business.

Gaël Duval: We should be out of the "chapter-11" protection in about 8 months (it takes time!).

MozillaQuest Magazine: I think lots of people will be glad to hear that you are coming along with the finances and bankruptcy.

Gaël Duval: The situation is really better than before for two reasons: 1) MandrakeSoft reorganization is nearly finished and 2) we have focused much on the business side.

MozillaQuest Magazine: This is good to hear also.

MozillaQuest Magazine: By the business side, is that the Mandrake Corporate server and now the MandrakeClustering?

Gaël Duval: They are part of our plans to extend the business!

MozillaQuest Magazine: Is the book (The Definitive Guide to Using Mandrake Linux) part of that too?

Gaël Duval: It's part of the current plan as well. The good thing is that at the same time, it answers a strong demand from Mandrake users.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Anything else within that which you call the "business side"?

Gaël Duval: Improving the Club, improving MandrakeStore: these things also help us to make more business everyday.

New Mandrake products and improved Mandrake finances mean lots of good news for IT and IS managers, system administrators, Mandrake fans, and the entire GNU/Linux community.

Mandrake Clustering, released 24 June, is an easy-to-use high-performance computing solution for Pentium & Opteron processors. It runs on all Pentium-compatible processors including Pentium, P2, P3, P4, AMD K6 AMD Duron and AMD Athalon processors. Gaël Duval, Co-Founder MandrakeSoft.

Built on top of Mandrake Linux 9.1 and the 2.4.19 Linux kernel, MandrakeClustering is a graphical-desktop, cluster-computing solution.

According to the MandrakeSoft Web Site, MandrakeClustering is a unique combination of the best free-software cluster-oriented tools and MandrakeSoft's proven experience in design and accessibility to merge into an easy-to-use linux (sic) distribution for clusters. . . . Typical applications include: crash simulations, acoustics, seismic modeling, MonteCarlo simulations, risk analysis etc.

It is an established fact that clusters of machines can reach performance equivalent to supercomputers, doing so at costs that are an order of magnitude lower. (CLIC website.)

We asked Gaël Duval if MandrakeCluster is Mandrake 9.1 with some special configuration and administration tools to facilitate its deployment on a cluster of PCs over a network.

Gaël Duval: It's a special distribution with everything needed to build a cluster. Of course, several technologies (and base packages) are derived from the Mandrake Linux distribution, such as URPMI (in a parallelized version).

Some of the Clustering-related software packages that are part of MandrakeClustering include:

  • Authd: 0.2.1
  • ClusterScripts: 0.7.0
  • Ganglia: 2.5.3
  • Gexec: 0.3.5
  • Ka-Run: 2.0.3
  • Lam: 6.5.9 ( Local Area Multicomputer)
  • Maui: 3.2.5
  • Mpich: 1.2.5 (MPICH a portable MPI (message-passing libraries))
  • Mp-Mpich: 1.3.0 (cvs) ( Multi-Platform Mpich)
  • Pconsole: 1.0.0
  • Pcp: 0.3.2
  • Pmake: 2.1.35
  • Pvm: 3.4.4 ( Parallel Virtual Machine)
  • PXE: 1.4.0 ( Preboot eXecution Environment)
  • PXELinux: 2.0.4
  • SCI: 1.34 ( Scalable Coherent Interface)
  • SmartMonTools: 5.1-14

MandrakeClustering is exclusive to Mandrake, but built on the CLIC research project. The Clusterautosetup and parallel-URPMI configuration and software installation tools are exclusive to MandrakeClustering, according to Gaël Duval.

Gaël Duval: Clusterautosetup and Kadeploy are management tools . . . Clusterautosetup is a management tool to setup and retrieve information for client node. Ka-tools are management tools to boot and duplicate client nodes with PXE . . . [Ganglia is] a scalable distributed monitoring system for high-performance computing systems.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Mandrake Corporpate Server also has clustering. So why not just buy the Corporate Server instead of MandrakeClustering?

Gaël Duval: Mandrake Corporate Server is a comprehensive solution to build a server infrastructure. It can also be used to build a small clustering environment, but not something "big". MandrakeClustering is really the product designed to build a real cluster farm, with all the tools needed for that.

Mandrake Linux -- Products for Home, Office, and Enterprise

MandrakeClustering is MandrakeSoft's latest product addition aimed at the business side of being a Linux distribution provider. Other heavy-duty enterprise grade Mandrake products are Mandrake Linux Corporate Server 2.1 for AMD Opteron and Mandrake Linux Corporate Server 2.1.

MandrakeSoft also produces and distributes Mandrake Linux 9.1, which comes in a two-CD Standard ($40),a seven-CD PowerPack ($69), and an eight-CD plus one workstation-DVD ProSuite ($199) edition. The basic, core, version is available for free downloading.

The Mandrake Linux PowerPack and Standard editions are designed for individual users, and the ProSuite Edition is created for small and medium-sized enterprises. The February 2003 Corporate Server release announcement stated that Mandrake Linux Corporate Server 2.1 is a comprehensive and versatile Linux solution that provides large accounts with critical business server functions . . . The Corporate Server includes MandrakeClustering tools.

The AMD Opteron Corporate Server release announcement adds: Mandrake Corporate Server 2.1 for the AMD Opteron processor is aimed at businesses that require high-performance systems for intensive computing applications, especially in the field of critical server functions such as web-servers, database deployment (with MySQL-64), and application & file servers.

Interestingly, Gaël Duval and MandrakeSoft seem to be primarily interested in promoting the growth and spread of GNU/Linux by producing a top-notch, easy to use, desktop Linux distribution. They are doing a great job too.

Unfortunately there are business and financial realities of being a top-tier Linux distribution provider. That means adding products to the basic, free-download, version of a GNU/Linux product that will generate much needed revenue. The fortunate side to that is that in order to deal with those financial realities, MandrakeSoft is adding server and enterprise grade products and services to its offerings.

In part that means having some enterprise and server level products that can generate enterprise and server level revenues. It also means in part, selling services and support.

MandrakeClustering sells for $2,960. The Mandrake Corporate Server products run from about $749 to $1499.

For more information about MandrakeClustering please check the MandrakeClustering Press Release on page 2 and the links in the Resources section on page 2 also.

MozillaQuest Magazine has not tested MandrakeClustering. However we have tested Mandrake Linux 9.0 and 9.1. They are great, easy-to-use, desktop-Linux operating systems. We use them daily.

Mandrake Linux 9.1 is an easy-to-install and easy-to-use GNU/Linux operating system distribution. We have not completed our Mandrake Linux 9.1 testing yet. However so far, it seems to be even better than Mandrake Linux 9.0, which we gave very high marks.

Mandrake is one of the leading and most popular Linux OS distributions. MozillaQuest Magazine found Mandrake Linux 9.0 to be Desktop Magic You Can Use right out of the box.


  • See MandrakeClustering Press Release on Page 2 ----->



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