On Wednesday 18 December 2019, the CentOS Board of Directors will hold it's last meeting of the 2019 calendar year. Below is the agenda for that meeting that can be shared with the community and wider public.
At the recent SuperComputing event in Denver, I spoke with several of the teams at the Student Cluster Competition. One of them was the team from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. You can listen to the full interview on YouTube at https://youtu.be/HpJRyF5S_4U
Rich: I'm with the team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. They have just finished participating in the Student Cluster Competition. I wonder if you can tell me about your experience.
Shangai Jiao Tong: We think the competition was quite challenging for us. We're a first-time participant in the SC competition. We think we learned a lot about the competition, as well as other teams - we made a lot of friends. It was a pretty good experience.
R: How do you feel you did?
SJT: We think we did fine within our capabilities. Maybe not state of the art but pretty good, for us.
R: If somebody from another university was interested in participating, what advice would you give them?
SJT: Read the rules carefully before you participate, because we missed some of the points, and that cost us something. But, it's still fine. Just have fun.
R: I was wondering why you chose CentOS for your base operating
SJT: Well, because it's well tested, stable, and performance is good. Mainly because it's well tested. Because we all use that in our test clusters back home.
R: Thank you so much for your time, and good luck.
At the recent SuperComputing event in Denver, I spoke with several of the teams at the Student Cluster Competition. I've already posted one of those interviews. I also had the chance to speak with the team from North Carolina State University, which was especially nice as they had sent a representative to the recent CentOS Dojo in Boston.
In this brief interview, which you can listen to in full on YouTube - https://youtu.be/-ziyUdEt_-M - we talked about their experience at the event, and what they would recommend other teams do to prepare.
Rich: I'm with a few of the members of the team from NCState. I was hoping you could tell me a little about your experience here.
NCState: It was absolutely fantastic. It's amazing to have all this hands-on experience with the cluster, and being in this competition, and while we were able to work with the cluster and practice at our University, here we had a very collaborative experience with a lot of other universities, and we appreciate that. It was exhausting, though.
R: Can you tell me about the mystery application?
Each year, there is a "mystery application" which is not announced until the team arrives onsite - whereas, the other applications they are able to prepare and practice with for months ahead of time.
NC: It was based off of the code they used to find an equation to go to Mars. And so they made a "dumbed down" version for us. That was a not too difficult application. But it was GPU based, which is really nice because a lot of the applications ended up not being GPU-based, and we had a very GPU-heavy system. But we got that up and running pretty quickly.
R: I was wondering if you could tell me why you chose CentOS as your base operating system.
NC: It's open source, which is important to us. And it was pretty stable. We wanted stability, instead of running into a lot of errors because of using too cutting edge. And because we didn't have to deal with any licensing. We just grabbed it and put it on the system. And I had a bit of experience because I put it on a personal computer at home to play around with it as well.
R: If someone from another university were interested in doing something like this, what advice would you give them?
NC: Start early. Definitely start early. Make contact with vendors and get hardware as soon as possible so you can start practicing. We were really new to this, and we've learned a lot, but there's still a lot to go. You have to budget a lot of time for this as students. Especially because you're taking a lot of other classes. It takes a lot of time to learn this. We came into this taking a few programming courses and knowing basic Linux command line skills, and now suddenly we're thrown into this with a lot going on. So, start early. Practice hard.
R: Thank you for your time and good luck when the results come out.
At the recent Supercomputing conference in Denver, I spoke with the University of Washington Boundless DAWG student supercomputing team.
(You can listen to the full interview at https://youtu.be/MxzH7k57VHs)
Rich: I'm here with the team from the University of Washington at the Student Cluster Competition, at SC19. I was wondering if you could tell me about your experience. Was this a positive experience overall?
Univ Washington: Yeah, it was a super positive experience. We got to travel. We got to meet all kinds of new people - industry professionals - and we got to go out of our comfort zone. None of us had any HPC experience at all except for Andrei, who's our senior - our leader on the team, our spiritual leader. So we learned a lot in this experience. And we struggled. But we came through it as a team. And we expect that to show in the results.
R: What were some of the struggles?
UW: Well, we came without a rack. And we learned that we could be disqualified if we did not have our cluster in the rack by Monday at 9:30. So our spiritual leader, Andrei, had to find a rack on Craig's List, or Facebook Marketplace, and then drive to Boulder to get the rack for $100. But everything turned out to be alright, and we have our rack, and we're not disqualified, yet. So far.
R: That's amazing.
R: For those of you who didn't have any HPC experience going into this, what convinced you to join a venture like this?
UW: First of all, supercomputers are pretty awesome. So I wanted to learn a lot more about it. Also this seems like a pretty cool competition experience. There's not that many competitions that take place for most of a week. And also there's not that many competitions that allow underclassmen to be involved in supercomputing, let alone on the world stage.
R: Who were your primary sponsors for this?
UW: The primary sponsor was AWS. And we had secondary sponsors Melanox, Intel, Invidia, who provided Tesla V100s. And Melanox provided Infiniband to connect our nodes together. Intel and AWS teamed up to give us money to cover the rest of the hardware.
R: Why did you choose CentOS for your base operating system?
UW: I think one of the primary reasons we ended up going with CentOS is, looking at last year, virtually every team used CentOS in the competition. We knew right away that there was a reason for that, and part of that reason was very likely due to stability, compatibility, and after figuring out what some of the applications were, we also found out that some of the applications were only guaranteed to work with CentOS. So apparently they tested on only CentOS. Might as well not make it harder on ourselves by trying to use something different.
R: Thank you all for your time. Good luck when the results come out.
On 2019-11-13 the CentOS Board of Directors held their first meeting following the release of CentOS Linux 8 and announcement of CentOS Stream.
As covered in this meeting, the CentOS Board are taking on an initiative to increase transparency of the working of the Board. This set of minutes for the community and wider public is the first instance of new, more transparent processes in action.
Topics covered in the meeting and via email are discussed below, and remain open on the Board’s rolling agenda for future conversation and actions:
The CentOS Atomic SIG has released an updated version of CentOS Atomic Host (7.1910), an operating system designed to run Linux containers, built from standard CentOS 7 RPMs, and tracking the component versions included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host.
CentOS Atomic Host includes these core component versions:
CentOS Atomic Host is available as a VirtualBox or libvirt-formatted Vagrant box, or as an installable ISO, or qcow2 image. For links to media, see the CentOS wiki.
If you’re running a previous version of CentOS Atomic Host, you can upgrade to the current image by running the following command:
The CentOS Atomic Host image follows the upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host cadence. After sources are released, they’re rebuilt and included in new images. After the images are tested by the SIG and deemed ready, we announce them.
You’ll often find us in #atomic and/or #centos-devel if you have questions. You can also join the atomic-devel mailing list if you’d like to discuss the direction of Project Atomic, its components, or have other questions.
If you run into any problems with the images or components, feel free to ask on the centos-devel mailing list.
Have questions about using Atomic? See the atomic mailing list or find us in the #atomic channel on Freenode.
We are excited to announce the release of CentOS 8, and of the new RHEL upstream, CentOS Streams. Details can be found on the CentOS-Announce mailing list.