[Beowulf] Open source and the Draft Report of the Task Force on High Performance Computing

"C. Bergström" cbergstrom at pathscale.com
Thu Aug 28 05:49:49 PDT 2014

On 08/28/14 07:26 PM, Gavin W. Burris wrote:
> Hi, Bill.
> This is perplexing...
> So, the Linux kernel and supporting tools that make the operating system aren't
> being factored in here?  The compiler?  The libraries?  If "very little open
> source" has "made its way into broad use within HPC," what OS are the majority
> running if not Linux?  This seem to be greatly uninformed, or pushing an
> agenda.  The only way I can see this excerpt as even remotely true would be if
> you applied a very narrow survey to a specific application set.  But that
> narrow view does not apply to a full operational stack or all of HPC in
> general!  I'm baffled, because this does not jive with my lay of the land.
baffled you say?

Lets go down the list of things you mentioned

supporting tools - Allinea/Totalview and the various performance 
analysis tools - are they open source? (partially maybe, but not completely)

compiler - I'll refrain from selfish self advertising, but with the 
exception of gcc - anything else I've seen on a cluster and when people 
care about performance - they likely use something which is closed 
source. (I don't know many Gordn Bell winners using gcc.)

libs - Off the top of my head.. MKL, NAG, cuBLAS and a few others aren't 
open source. (Ok LAPCK, OpenBLAS and a few others are open source... got 
me here)

MPI - From what I've seen the larger OEM and system integrators end up 
effectively creating a closed source version from one of the open source 

The linux kernel is open source, but what about the highly modified 
compute node OS which are common? I doubt there's a single customer who 
has requested the source and published those modifications..

Good schedulers?
We can go deeper into domain specific stuff and then it's really mixed 
bag for what's open and what's not...

The original post was probably clickbait and irrelevant anyway. Who cares?


More information about the Beowulf mailing list