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Open Source Framework for High Performance Computing Announced

The Linux Foundation is forming a new open source framework to support sophisticated High Performance Computing (HPC) environments.

With backing from a bevy of vendors, educational institutions and research organizations, the OpenHPC Collaborative Project will provide upstream project components, tools and interconnections to enable the complete HPC software stack, the foundation said.

"The community will provide an integrated and validated collection of HPC components that can be used to provide a full-featured reference HPC software stack available to developers, system administrators and users," the foundation said in a statement last week. "OpenHPC will provide flexibility for multiple configurations and scalability to meet a wide variety of user needs."

According to the project's Web site, those components will address provisioning and system administration tools, resource management, I/O services, development tools, numerical libraries and performance analysis tools.

OpenHPC Will Feature a Companion Integration Testing Effort
[Click on image for larger view.] OpenHPC Will Feature a Companion Integration Testing Effort (source: OpenHPC)

The project's vision statement said it intends to:

  • Provide a collection of pre-packaged binary components that, when combined with a supported base operating system (BoS), can be used to install and manage HPC systems throughout its lifecycle to provide a stable, feature-rich development and runtime environment.
  • Provide HPC-centric packages that are either absent or have unacceptable lag time from leading Linux distro providers.
  • Support new hardware offerings from vendors in a timely fashion.
  • Provide distribution/installation mechanisms for leading research groups releasing open-source software.
  • Allow both open-source and proprietary software vendors to focus efforts on innovation.
  • Allow and promote multiple system configuration recipes that leverage community reference designs.
  • Foster development of defined interfaces between supported components that allows for simple component replacement and customization.

"The use of open source software is central to HPC, but lack of a unified community across key stakeholders -- academic institutions, workload management companies, software vendors and computing leaders -- has caused duplication of effort and has increased the barrier to entry," said foundation exec Jim Zemlin. "OpenHPC will provide a neutral forum to develop an open source framework that satisfies a diverse set of cluster environment use-cases."

More details about the project, which is hosted on GitHub, will emerge at this week's SC'15 Supercomputing conference in Austin, Texas.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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