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OpenStack and the OpenStack Barcelona Summit

Presentation to Linux Users of Victoria, 7th February, 2017

An overview of cloud computing platforms in general, and OpenStack in particular, is provided introduces this presentation. Cloud computing is one of the most significant changes to IT infrastructure and employment in the past decade, with major corporate services (Amazon, Microsoft) gaining particular significance in the late 2000s. In mid-2010, Rackspace Hosting and NASA jointly launched an open-source cloud-software initiative known as OpenStack, with initial code coming from NASA's Nebula project and Rackspace's Cloud Files project, and soon gained prominence as the largest open-source cloud platform. Although a cross-platform service, it was quickly available on various Linux distributions including Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE (2011), and Red Hat (2012).

OpenStack is governed by the OpenStack Foundation, a non-profit corporate entity established in September 2012. Correlating with the release cycle of the product, OpenStack Summits are held every six months for developers, users and managers. The most recent Summit was held in Barcelona in late October 2016, with over 5000 attendees, almost 1000 organisations and companies, and 500 sessions, spread out over three days, plus one day of "Upstream University" prior to the main schedule, plus one day after the main schedule for contributor working parties. The presentation will cover the major announcements of the conference as well as a brief overview of the major streams, as well the direction of OpenStack as the November Sydney Summit approaches.

Career Opportunities

Had a friendly meeting a few days ago with a young person debating their future career path. They had a very good IT-orientated resume (give this person a job, seriously) but were debating whether they should go down the path of a Business Analyst. It was fairly clear that they lived and breathed IT, whereas the BA choice was one of some indifference. In reverse, there was a situation when VPAC had a year of summer school graduates where it became quickly obvious that none of them had any passion for IT.

Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg Visit 2016

An visit to the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg was taken on the 19th of October, which is is home for an HPC centre which specializes in Neuroscience, Elementary Particle Physics and Microsystems Engineering giving the name to the system: NEMO. NEMO is a CentOS 7 cluster with has 756 compute nodes (plus a few others) using Intel Broadwell for a total of 526 TFlops of performance and OmniPath interconnect, and is a Top500 system.

University of Stuttgart HLRS Visit 2016

The visit to the University of Stuttgart was carried out on the 17th and 18th of October, 2016. The High Performance Computing Center of Stuttgart University (HLRS) is Germany's first national HPC centre, established in 1996.

Data Centre Preparation: A Summary

When installing a new system (whether HPC, cloud, or just a bunch of servers, disks, etc), they must be housed. Certainly this can be without any specialist environment, especially if one is building a small test cluster; for example with half-a-dozen old but homogeneous systems, each connected with 100BASE-TX ethernet to a switch etc.

Keeping The Build Directory in EasyBuild and Paraview Plugins

By default, EasyBuild will delete the build directory of an successful installation and will save failures of attempted installs for diagnostic purposes. In some cases however, one may want to save the build directory. This can be useful, for example, for diagnosis of *successful* builds. Another example is the installation of plugins for applications such as Paraview, which *require* access to the the successful buildir.

The Provision of HPC Resources to Top Universities

Recently, the University of Melbourne is ranked #1 in Australia and #33 in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2015-2016 [1]. The rankings are based on a balanced metric between citations, industry income, international outlook, research, and teaching.

Installing R with EasyBuild: Which path to insanity?

There is a wonderful Spanish idiom, "Cada loco con su tema" which is sometimes massacred as the English idiom "To each their own". In Spanish of course it is more accurately transliterated as "Each madman with their topic" which in familiar conversation means the same, has a slightly different and is a more illustrative angle on the subject. With the in mind, which path to insanity does one take with R libraries and EasyBuild? A similar question can also be raised with other languages that have extensions, e.g., Python and Perl.

Goethe University Frankfurt Center for Scientific Computing Visit 2016

The visit to Center for Scientific Computing (CSC) was carried out on October 14, 2016. Based at the Riedberg campus of the Goethe University Frankfurt the centre currently operates two Linux-based computer clusters FUCHS, and LOEWE-CSC. FUCHS has 14 air-cooled and 5 water-cooled racks using AMD Opteron (Istanbul and Magny-Cours) with 39956 cores total, mixed 4X DDR-QDR InfiniBand fabric and, a parallel scratch file system with an aggregated bandwidth of 6 GB/s and a capacity of 600 TB. 41 TFlops peak perfomance.

European HPC Centre Tour 2016

Following the acceptance of the University of Melbourne's paper to the OpenStack Barcelona summit in late October for their new HPC-cloud hybrid system, Spartan, an opportunity presented itself to visit other HPC centres and review their architecture and training programmes.

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