Developing Strong Open Source Communities


The High Performance Computing (HPC) market is moving away from RISC/UNIX symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) servers and proprietary cluster platforms. It’s moving toward Linux industry standard servers and clusters. This trend is reducing costs and allowing enterprises that do not consider themselves involved in supercomputing to adopt HPC. This is seen in a wide range of applications such as financial analysis and portfolio management, digital security and surveillance, and decision-support computing.

OpenHPC had a chance to ask SUSE Sr. Technology Strategist David Byte about some of these topics. Among his many activities for SUSE, Byte drives new or expanded market business case development to support SUSE’s position in HPC via partners and trade shows.

Byte is a passionate advocate for his company, open source software, and the SUSE engineers. Byte says, “It is important to realize that SUSE is an upstream first company. That means work we do benefits everyone else. It also means that we continue looking for new innovations and areas to improve the open source ecosystem. I would like to make sure and point out that the real heroes are our engineers. They don’t often get recognition, but without them, the high performing, quality products we offer would be impossible.”

Linux completely dominates supercomputing. What unique features does SUSE bring to HPC?
SUSE brings a dedication to quality engineered and supported Linux to the HPC space. With many of the largest systems in the world running SUSE Enterprise Linux for many years, we have developed a deep experience dealing with issues of scalability. SUSE also is concerned not just with these systems being high performing, but also stable and manageable, which ties in nicely with SUSE’s use in the enterprise for their most critical Linux systems.

The boundary between HPC and enterprise IT seems to be disappearing. Where do you see this most?
Here at SUSE, we see this in a few common use cases. These are fraud detection, genetic diagnosis and engineering/simulation work. Fraud detection is really the one that is driving into the enterprise space in recent years. It ties in nicely with big data efforts and helps improve the profitability of the enterprises that employ it.

Why is SUSE participating in OpenHPC?
SUSE believes in developing strong open source communities. By helping to eliminate duplication of efforts of multiple projects, we believe that members of the community can work together towards fixing bigger issues as we continue to move towards exascale.

What does a SUSE Sr. Technology Strategist do on weekends?
I like to spend my time enjoying my family. This involves a variety of activities from going to the Opera or musicals to camping and fishing. As a family we often find ourselves using the new experiences to have discussions on philosophy, physics, history or a wide range of other topics. When we need some down time, I greatly enjoy reading a variety of fiction from westerns, to techno-thrillers, to science fiction.