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Labs at LinuxCon: How can The Machine and the open source community help each other?




By Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

Continuing the tradition of Labs researchers presenting keynotes at LinuxCon, our Distinguished Technologist Grant Likely will be presenting “Community Software Powers The Machine” at the upcoming convention, taking place in Toronto on August 22-24.

Last year, Keith Packard gave the keynote “Hardware and Software Architecture of ‘The Machine’” at both LinuxCon U.S. and LinuxCon Europe. This year, Likely follows up and his address could not be more appropriate given HPE’s commitment to open source.

In “Community Software Powers The Machine,” Likely will “offer his insights on the software that drives The Machine and how you can get started bringing this game-changing platform to life.”

The attendees at LinuxCon include key Linux developers, people in Linux-centric industries, and tech decision makers who use Linux, said Labs’ Director of The Machine Community, Michael Aday. This makes it a key place to share with the broader community the unique capabilities of The Machine and to build partnerships with Linux developers.

“People need to know what the open source architecture is, how it’s progressing, where the repositories are, understand our general plan, and find out how they can get engaged,” said Aday. Likely will address these questions in front of the people most predisposed to getting involved.

LinuxCon is also an opportunity – the opportunity – to field other questions Linux professionals are likely to have. In addition to the “what” and “how” of Linux on The Machine these, according to Aday, may include the following. How do you support competing nonvolatile memory technologies like 3D XPoint? Why are we not using Intel processors in The Machine? What’s the nature of our partnership with Paramount? How does Linus feel about The Machine?

“I’m most excited to talk about The Machine transitioning from a really great idea, from a research project, to a concrete technology,” said Likely. “We’re close to hardware becoming available, we have software, and we have concrete plans for how it will be used.”

LinuxCon also gives Labs an opportunity to manage expectations.

“The Machine is a platform comprised of different technologies, all of which mature and come to market at different rates,” said Aday. The X1 optical interconnect will be used for the first time in the Machine prototype, slated to be unveiled later this year, while the super-dense blade chassis of Moonshot, which is already available, will provide a model for The Machine. Some technologies, like the Memristor, won’t come for a while, and we won’t ship the platform as a whole until 2020. Staggering the development will give the community the opportunity to develop software in parallel with the hardware.

It’s hard to overstress the community element in “open source community.” Attending LinuxCon is an integral part of not just connecting to that community, but being part of it.

Attendees “get to see the current state of the art,” said Aday. “You hear where the project is from Linus’s mouth, see other developers and tech audience members, and you get to interact. The hallway track is alive and well at LinuxCon.”

“It’s the most important part,” said Likely.

Watch Likely give his presentation in the video below.

Still from HPE commercial in concert with Paramount Pictures

About the Author


Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs