Hmmm I do this stuff for a living
I work for a company who is just breaking through in
the turnkey cluster solution area. I try not to speak for
them when I am off the clock but if you go to
Technology Inc. you should be able to contact us
about possible commercial clustering solutions using
Linux and hopefully even Windows XP/NT/2000 soon.
We have been around for about 5 years and make a
high-quality implementation of the MPI standard for
various UN*X's and Windows
I also have the book you speak of as well as many
others on the subject of building "beowulf's". What I
have learned in my time at this company is that the
only things that are common across all clusters is
usually a high-speed network fabric for compute nodes
possibly rack-mounted 1U servers and a lot of custom
There are most obviously two ways for linux to enter the market.
1) Support all the apps that have the greatest market share.
2) Create new apps to steal market share.
#1 is an easier road . If we can be 100% compatible and offer other goodies with it we may be able to persuade more people to join the linux community.
#2 is more difficult because we need to grab people's attention to our new and not historically proven apps.
I think #2 and #1 can coexist. If we support what M$ already has and develop our own super apps we can say, "Hey you can do what you are doing in Windows on Linux". Once we show them that it works add, "And if you use this new program you can do this too."
I doubt we could have a better scenario than that.