The Role Of Open Source In Driving HPC Standards

March 25th, 2009 11:47 am
Posted by Gary Tyreman
Tags: , , , ,

Open source can play both a leading and an enabling role in adopting a standardized design and leveraging interchangeable parts. But first consider the alternative: a market context where the incumbents with existing functionality, performance and reliability chose not to inter-operate.

Who wins? Who loses?

Successful companies face a constant internal challenge. There is a driving need to "Create Value" and its ever-present alter ego "Extract Value." Creating value could include increasing market scope – finding new customers or use cases. However, this is at odds with value extraction, an organization's selfish (understandably so) desire to own and cash in. The challenge organizations face is balancing opening up (give away) and cash-in (take home).

As a principle, then, an "Open Standard" is the goal. I'm not going to define "open standard." Google it and you'll understand why I'm staying away from that. For this purpose I will simply state an open standard is preferable – and it's open IF and only IF it is widely available and adoptable FREE OF RESTRAINT.

Why Open Source?

To be truly open, a specification needs to be free of restraint, meaning free from patent license or copyright use restrictions. Organizations that introduce limitations of either functionality or license unnecessarily hamper innovation and ultimately reduce their own fortunes. But they probably wouldn’t agree with that since their motivation is value extraction and protection (= restriction) of IP is the first step.

Open source affords many of the criteria noted earlier: adoptable, collaborative and generally free of restraint. Community development is also an accelerant. Communities can work at lightning speed and develop quality software. Implementation and incorporation are simplified: engineers are known to be lazy and take the path of least resistance – if something good enough exists, use it….as long as it is "adoptable" and this is where open source shines.


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Author Info
Gary Tyreman

Gary Tyreman brings more than 20 years of executive software experience to his role as the President and CEO of Univa Corporation. Gary leads corporate development and fundraising activities and is the architect of Univa's data center optimization strategy, which couples the strategic addition of Grid Engine expertise with Univa's innovative and industry-leading integrated cloud computing management products. Gary has established Univa as a top multi-national competitor and has expanded the markets the company serves. Prior to taking the position as CEO, Gary spent three years as Univa's Senior Vice President of Products and Alliances.

At Univa UD, Gary is Vice President and General Manager of the High-Performance Computing Division. In this role he oversees all aspects of the company's HPC business, including strategic planning, engineering, marketing, sales and business development. He also directs the growth of the company's online open source community.

Prior to joining Univa UD in 2008, Gary was Vice President and Business Manager for Platform Computing HPC division. During nearly five years there, he led the company's business planning, innovation and product management efforts while marshaling a team that developed some of the industry's most popular software.

Tyreman was among the first in the industry to recognize the emerging entry-level user in the HPC space and was responsible for developing a vision for how to simplify running applications off the shelf, a key to unlocking value among organizations new to HPC. He worked with Intel Corp. to develop his innovations, which were taken into account when Intel announced the Intel Cluster Ready program last year, making it easier to design, build, sell, program, acquire and deploy clusters built with Intel components.

Prior to his tenure at Platform Computing, Tyreman held a variety of executive positions in product management and marketing in technology growth companies, including Hummingbird, Delano and Itemus.

Gary is actively involved in the standards community and has held key positions in the X Consortium ( and Open Grid Forum.