Innovatives Supercomputing in Deutschland
inSiDE • Vol. 9 No. 2 • Autumn 2011
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Foundation of the European Open File System (EOFS) Society

On December 16, 2010 the European Open File System (EOFS) Society was founded in Munich. The initiative to cooperate on this topic originated from JSC. As a legal form the Societas Cooperativa Europaea (SCE, European Cooperative Society) was selected.

The purpose of this non-profit organization is to

• promote the establishment and adoption of an open source parallel file system

• sustain and enhance its quality, capabilities and functionality

• ensure that the specific requirements of European organizations, institutions and companies are considered

• initiate projects or to collaborate with existing projects at regional, national, European and international level in order to support Research & Development activities concerning Open File Systems

• ensure that engagement and activities with other organizations will not directly or indirectly interfere with the intellectual property or other contractual and legal obligations of its members

• facilitate the extension of business operations to non-members.

The following 14 organizations are founding members: Forschungszentrum Jülich, Bull GmbH, CEA/DAM, Data Direct Networks, Universities of Paderborn and Zürich, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, credativ GmbH, T-Platforms, HPCFS, Mellanox, Whamcloud, Leibniz Rechenzentrum (LRZ) and ParTec GmbH.

At the founding meeting several members expressed their satisfaction about the fact that it is the first time a Europe wide consortium has engaged in the open-source development of highspeed file systems. It was agreed that such an important piece of file system software should not be made proprietary with no absolute guarantee of future access. On the contrary, the organization should establish an open source code base, prioritize the development efforts, and improve the functionality and stability of the underlying parallel file system.

Furthermore, the intention was expressed to build a bridge to similar development efforts in the United States where in the meantime two organizations were founded around Open File Systems: HPCFS and OpenSFS.

During the Lustre™ Users Group (LUG) meeting - held in Orlando, Florida in April 2011 - EOFS was the driving force in bringing these two US organizations together. Later all members of HPCFS became members of OpenSFS and OpenSFS changed bylaws and contributorship agreement as required by HPCFS.

The next logical step was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between EOFS and OpenSFS at ISC’11 in Hamburg, because they recognized that to succeed in this endeavour it will require collaboration and cooperation to meet their mutual goals, including

• sustaining and further developing the Lustre™ open source parallel file system

• promoting an open-source development model for the Lustre™ file system

• promoting a forum for collaboration that is vendor-neutral and

• protecting end users of the LustreTM file system in the spirit of open source.

The two organizations wanted to establish a mechanism by which they can peer with one another in order to facilitate collaboration among working groups of each organization and to establish a single canonical LustreTM source repository and tracking system for community development.

All this work can be considered as a big success to form a single community with global participation. It guarantees the continued future of the LustreTM file system supported by a large number of strong supporters.

As an immediate next step EOFS organized the first European LustreTM Workshop in Paris in September 2011 where administrators and developers from Europe and worldwide came together and exchanged their experiences, developments, tools and good practices to run this parallel filesystem.

More information is available at the EOFS website:

• Klaus Wolkersdorfer
Jülich Supercomputing Centre

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