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

Prentice Bisbal prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu
Thu Aug 28 06:54:43 PDT 2014


I didn't read the full report. I was only responding to the quote 
included in the original e-mail. It sounds like Gavin was responding to 
the whole report, based on subsequent posts.

I'll read the whole report and then post my own obligatory rant.


On 08/28/2014 09:50 AM, Prentice Bisbal wrote:
> Gavin,
> You didn't read the full sentence. The keyword is 'commercial' (I 
> added the emphasis):
>> There has been very little open source that has made its way into 
>> broad use
>>    within the HPC COMMERCIAL community where great emphasis is placed on
>>    serviceability and security
> This shouldn't be news to most of us. In the commercial world, it 
> seems a lot of managers want to pay for commercial software so they 
> can call/blame/sue someone when something goes wrong with the 
> software. This is why Red Hat Enterprise Linux exists.
> Prentice Bisbal
> Manager of Information Technology
> Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute (RDI2)
> Rutgers University
> http://rdi2.rutgers.edu
> On 08/28/2014 08:26 AM, 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.
>> Cheers.
>> On 07:29PM Wed 08/27/14 -0700, Bill Broadley wrote:
>>> The URL:
>>> http://energy.gov/seab/downloads/draft-report-task-force-high-performance-computing 
>>> One piece I found particularly interesting:
>>>    There has been very little open source that has made its way into 
>>> broad use
>>>    within the HPC commercial community where great emphasis is 
>>> placed on
>>>    serviceability and security. There is a better track record in 
>>> data analytics
>>>    recently with map/reduce as a notable example. This is less of an 
>>> issue for
>>>    universities or national laboratories but they represent no more 
>>> than about
>>>    10%-15% of all HPC usage. Of course, one cannot “force” the 
>>> adoption of open
>>>    source but one should also not plan on it being a panacea to any 
>>> ecosystem
>>>    shortcoming. A focus investment effort within universities could 
>>> expand the
>>>    volume of open source and increase the chances that some of the 
>>> software
>>>    output could become commercialized. It should be noted that the most
>>>    significant consumption of open source software is China and it 
>>> is also the
>>>    case that the Chinese are rare contributors to open source as well.
>>>    Investments in open source or other policy actions to stimulate 
>>> creation are
>>>    likely to produce a disproportionate benefit accruing to the 
>>> Chinese.
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