iRODS at SuperComputing 2014

Last week we were in New Orleans for the SuperComputing 2014 Conference, where we also had meetings with our Consortium advisors and executive board. It was a terrific opportunity to meet in-person with our Consortium members, including staff from DDN, Seagate, EMC, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Additionally, we held the second annual iRODS Reception at SuperComputing (now known as the “Control Your Data Reception”).

There, Jason (our Chief Technologist) recapped our technical achievements over the past year–slides here–and, notably, Zoey Greer received enthusiastic applause for eliminating hundreds of defects identified by the Coverity Scan static analysis tool. We’re excited that our users are excited, and we’re looking forward to the reception and additional iRODS events in Austin next year.

During the course of the conference, we met with dozens of iRODS users. It was extremely valuable to sit down and discuss people’s experiences using our software and documentation. The discussions we’ve had continue to motivate our development efforts, and they will help set the tone for our User Group Meeting next June. We’re working on some exciting projects–both technical and non-technical. Stay tuned for announcements over the coming months.

We made a number of observations at the conference of trends that highlight the iRODS’ continued and growing importance:

  • SuperComputing as a conference is becoming more data-focused. As in the past, the primary focus was on high performance computing, but a great deal of attention is being paid to managing huge volumes of data in a performant manner. Naturally, this is important to us as a distributed data management software platform.

  • Along with the data focus, the conference is becoming more diverse in its attraction of domain scientists. Whereas high performance / super computing has historically been dominated by physicists, biology is playing a more prominent role than ever before, and people in the media and entertainment sector are working on data management and movement, in addition to computer-generated imagery (CGI).

  • Block storage and cloud storage–both shared and privately hosted–continue to be growing trends in the super computing community.

  • We are not alone: There are a number of technologies out there that do some part of what iRODS can do: metadata-enabled discovery, automated policy implementation, collaboration among disparate zones, and data virtualization. But because we’re open source, we can work with them all. The whole data management ecosystem is growing up. That’s exciting.

And there were burpees…

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