Technology - Written by on January 4, 2017

OLCF Active in New User-Oriented OpenSFS

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File and Storage System Team Lead Sarp Oral (second from left) poses with other OpenSFS officers (left to right) Shawn Hall of BP, Stephen Simms of Indiana University, Rick Wagner of Globus, and Stephen Monk of Sandia National Laboratories.

Attracting broad user base a priority for community organization

As a longtime Lustre user, the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is committed to the viability and continued development of the open-source parallel file system technology. Keeping Lustre competitive for users with a variety of data storage needs, however, depends on the community’s ability to organize, work with vendors, and adapt to emerging trends in high-performance computing (HPC).

To better meet these goals, Open Scalable File Systems, Inc. (OpenSFS), the nonprofit community organization dedicated to Lustre file system technology, recently changed its structure to give users a premier role in the organization. Under the newly restructured board consisting of academic, business, and DOE users, OLCF File and Storage System Team Lead Sarp Oral said the OLCF will continue to play an active leadership role in the Lustre community.

“Our HPC center manages one of the largest and fastest Lustre parallel file systems in the world,” Oral said. “The OLCF’s needs are vastly different than other users’, and we often require features that push the limits of performance, scalability, and reliability. For those reasons we have a vested interest in Lustre’s future to help us maintain our mission.”

Other officers appointed to the board include Stephen Simms of Indiana University, Rick Wagner of Globus, Steve Monk of Sandia National Laboratories, and Shawn Hall of BP. In accordance with the new OpenSFS bylaws, a new board will be elected in the spring at the next Lustre User Group (LUG) meeting.

In lieu of directing development efforts as in the past, the new OpenSFS model encourages users and vendors to independently fund Lustre development projects. This arrangement will allow the organization to focus on broadening the OpenSFS community. A top priority of the revamped OpenSFS is to attract smaller Lustre users such as universities, research labs, and small businesses.

“If a user has a small Lustre installation, we want them to join OpenSFS and let the community know about their needs and requirements,” Oral said. “Historically these users have not been active members.”

Other priorities for the organization include hosting the annual LUG meeting—where users, developers, and vendors exchange ideas, discuss new features, and share best practices—and collecting, organizing, and prioritizing users’ feature requests for vendors.

To encourage wider membership participation, the new OpenSFS structure has a revamped dues structure. Users can join for $1,000, and Lustre vendors can join for $5,000.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is supported by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.