Presented by

  • Hugh Blemings

    Hugh Blemings
    @hughhalf
    https://hugh.blemings.id.au

    Hugh has had a long standing association with Free and Open Source Software, Open Hardware and, in particular, Linux and POWER/PowerPC. His career has spanned everything from Linux kernel development to engineering team management, electronics design to product management at the likes of IBM, Canonical and Rackspace. A long time participant in the free technical commons, he has previously served in a voluntary capacity on the Council of Linux Australia in various roles including President and is a former member of the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board. In his current role of Executive Director of the OpenPOWER Foundation, Hugh works full time with the Board of the Foundation to build the OpenPOWER User community and associated ecosystem, increase the visibility of OpenPOWER Members and their solutions as well as the Foundation itself and grow Foundation membership and engagement.

Abstract

Open hardware for embedded and general purpose applications with low to medium compute performance requirements has become almost commonplace, a response to a growing understanding of the need for solutions that embrace libré principles. Open hardware for server class/high performance computing requirements is a relatively new concept but is, appropriately, becoming an area of focus for data centres, supercomputers, and security conscious workstation/end users alike. Contributors to the OpenPOWER project have been working together to create an open ecosystem based around the POWER Instruction Set Architecture that enables truly open -and- high performance compute solutions. The resultant systems extend from high performance embedded systems, desktop workstations up to the worlds fastest supercomputers and have an entirely open software stack - firmware to remote management to hypervisor to OS to applications. Many of the systems have hardware that is likewise entirely open source at the schematic, PCB and, increasingly component level. Put colloquially: OpenPOWER systems are the only commodity high performance systems out there that don’t have any funny hidden management engines, or binary blobs of executable code in their firmware. Some even ship with a recovery DVD that in addition to the full source code for everything running on the machine, include the schematics and other technical drawings too. This session will explain the importance of open hardware and software at all levels of the compute environment - embedded/IoT to desktop to hyperscale systems. From here a brief introduction to OpenPOWER and the OpenPOWER Foundation as well as an update on the ecosystem, the status of the hardware and software stacks in question as well as an overview of some of the OpenPOWER hardware out there. There will be at least one system of great interest to LCA attendees that will have it's Oceania debut at this talk. This will be a technical/community/ecosystem talk, not a “sales pitch” :)