Monday, September 09, 2013

Cloud, HPC And Open Technologies Converge To Fuel Research, Innovation

When you put leaders of industry, research, and academia in a room for a day, what do you get? If you were at Argonne National Laboratory last month for the workshop on resource intensive open clouds, you got a taste of progress. The workshop was organized by leaders from Notre Dame University, Internet2, and Rackspace, in the interests of figuring out the next steps for the technical computing world, bridging old-world high performance computing with the new-world of cloud computing.

I was invited to this workshop on behalf of the PSF, and was excited by the prospect of being involved in an open and collaborative environment, tasked with figuring out how all of these sides of the story could come together. Many of the attendees are using OpenStack, an open cloud computing platform implemented in Python, and Python was a key technology for many of them in other ways. It looks like OpenStack-based and community-owned open clouds will likely become key points as the group progresses towards a better landscape to solve their computing needs, and if the past is any indication, Python will remain an important piece of the software powering it.

"The pace of innovation is accelerated and the diversity of solutions and approaches ensures that good solutions persist and not so good ones are quickly identified," said event organizer Paul Rad of Rackspace, on the topic of open and transparent workshops like this one.

My hope for this group is that future workshops can leverage some of our leaders in Python's large scientific community, many of whom are undoubtedly facing the challenges this workshop set out to improve on. Feel free to contact me at if you're interested in contributing to future efforts.

For more details on the workshop, see Paul's post on the subject at If you are interested in learning more about this initiative and/or in participating in future workshop sessions, please email