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Re: [Condor-users] Condor Learning Curve

On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 7:23 AM, Mag Gam <magawake@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I am curious, what is people's impression about Condor's learning
curve? How long have you been using it and when did you feel
'comfortable' with it using it and administering it?

I've been using Condor for (gasp!) over 5 years now. It was quick to setup and get started with. Maybe a day tops to get a small farm running my work. Administering it was a process that's evolved over time. As farms went from 10s of machines to 100s of machines to 1000s of machines the administration challenges have changed. First hump was figuring out how to consolidate configs on shared disk for all machines. The how to structure my config files so the maximum amount of configuration file data was shared between all machines at all sites. And then how to customize machines by OS, etc. And finally there's tracking and change management for my configurations so I know when someone made a change and what they did (in case I need to undo it). I moved all my configuration management to Cycle Server (http://www.cyclecomputing.com) about two years ago and the whole process has simplified immensely. To the point where I'm able to empower many more admins to modify machine configurations. They don't have to know Condor's ClassAd configuration language, just how to chain well-named blocks together to make complete configuration. Deployment is still being done by writing files to disk (but that is handled by Cycle Server automatically) for now. We'll be looking at Cycle's fetch-configs-from-the-database feature soon.
We have been
using it for several months and we enjoy it a lot but I feel there is
still so much more  potential.

By far the biggest challenge for me is keeping up with the changes in Condor. Integrating new technologies and features just gets harder and harder as your farms get big and well-established. Discovering new features can be a little ad hoc too -- not all the new stuff is detailed in the release notes. I uncover something new on a monthly basis with Condor. It is seriously deep software.

- Ian