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Open Source at The Large Hadron Collider and Data Gravity

I am delighted to announce a new Open Source cybergrant awarded to the Caltech team developing the ANSE project at the Large Hadron Collider. The project team lead by Caltech Professor Harvey Newman will be further developing the world’s fastest data forwarding network with Open Daylight. The LHC experiment is a collaboration of world’s top Universities and research institutions, the network is designed and developed by the California Institute of Technology High Energy Physics department in partnership with CERN and the scientists in search of the Higgs boson, adding new dimensions to the meaning of “big data analytics”, the same project team that basically set most if not all world records in data forwarding speeds over the last decade, and quickly approaching the remarkable 1 Tbps milestone.

Unique in its nature and remarkable in its discovery, the LHC experiment and its search for the elusive particle, the very thing that imparts mass to observable matter, is not only stretching the bleeding edge of physics, but makes the observation that data behaves as if it has gravity too. With the exponential rise in data (2 billion billion bytes per day and growing!), services and applications are drawn to “it”. Moving data around is neither cheap nor trivial. Though advances in network bandwidth are in fact observed to be exponential (Nielsen’s Law), advances in compute are even faster (Moore’s Law), and storage even more.  Thus, the impedance mismatch between them, forces us to feel and deal with the rising force of data gravity, a natural consequence of the laws of physics. Since not all data can be moved to the applications nor moved to core nor captured in the cloud, the applications will be drawn to it, a great opportunity for Fog computing, the natural evolution from cloud and into the Internet of Things.

Congratulations to the Caltech physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists working on this exciting project. We look forward to learning from them and their remarkable contribution flowing in Open Source made possible with this cybergrant so that everyone can benefit from it, not just the elusive search for gravity and dark matter. After all, there was a method to the madness of picking such elements for Open Daylight as Hydrogen and Helium. I wander what comes next…

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Cisco, a founding member of the Linux Foundation Initiative

Our Cisco colleague Anthony Grieco wrote a quick blog post over on the Cisco Security blog announcing that Cisco is a proud supporter and founder of the Linux Foundation initiative announced on April 24th.

We are pleased to help form a critical mass of governance, funding, and focus that will support the output of open source communities like OpenSSL. By working together as an industry, we can expect greater security, stability, and robustness for components that are critical to the Internet.

Check out the blog article here for further information:

New Open MPI stable series launched: v1.8

April 11, 2014 at 9:00 am PST

Open MPI logoThe Open MPI project released version v1.8 last week.  This is a major release that heralds the beginning of a new production-ready series, full MPI-3.0 support, and a new OpenSHMEM implementation.

Open MPI is developed in a tick-tock fashion:

  • Odd-numbered series are focused on feature development and expansion
  • Even-numbered series are focused on stability and production usage

The even-numbered v1.8.x series therefore represents a new production-ready series that effectively deprecates the prior production-ready series (v1.6.x).

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The First Open Source Project to Win the Interop Grand Prize…

… is none other than…  (drum roll, please!) … our one year old baby, OpenDaylight! My heartfelt congratulations go to the OpenDaylight committers and contributors, the open source collaborators who have poured their heart and soul into this wonderful project. This is indeed a remarkable event, considering the skepticism surrounding its start just about one year ago, in fact at Equinox. The Interop and OpenDaylight announcement captures the meaning of this accomplishment very well and on behalf of the OpenDaylight partners, I would like to thank the developers and users, to wish them continued success and strong adoption. Know that as long as core open source principles are alive and well our project will do well. Thank you, Interop panelists and conference attendees, and most of all, thank you Cisco colleagues, customers, and partners for building and embracing the base of what promises to be a star project. I am so proud of you!

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In Search of The First Transaction

At the height of an eventful week – Cloud and IoT developments, Open Source Think Tank,  Linux Foundation Summit – I learned about the fate of my fellow alumnus, an upperclassman as it were, the brilliant open source developer and crypto genius known for the first transaction on Bitcoin.

Hal Finney is a Caltech graduate who went on to become one of the most dedicated, altruistic and strong contributors to open source cryptography. We are a small school in size, so one would think it’s easy to keep in touch; we try but do poorly, mostly a very friendly and open bunch, but easy to loose ourselves into the deep work at hand and sometimes miss what’s hiding in plain sight.

He was among the first to work with Phil Zimmermann on PGP, created the first reusable proof-of-work (POW) system years before Bitcoin, had just the right amount of disdain for noobs in my opinion, and years later, one of the first open source developers with Satoshi Nakamoto on Bitcoin, in fact the first transaction ever. There is a great story about Hal in Forbes this week, “My hunt for Bitcoin’s creator led to a paralyzed crypto genius, thank you, Hal Finney for going through with it, and Andy Greenberg for writing it. Sometimes it is very painful, shocking to see how things turn out, I think this is one of those moments when we realize how much this is going to mean to all of us, the brilliant minds of programmers like Hal Finney, who never sought the limelight, but did so much for us without asking for anything in return, who leave behind a long lasting contributions to privacy and security in our society, he is in fact a co-creator of the Bitcoin project. Do you realize that every bitminer successfully providing the required POW, should in fact reach the very same conclusion at the end of every new transaction… forever? You’d better accurately represent who was the very first. What a legacy to remember!

I often go to Santa Barbara to see a very, very close and dear person there, my daughter. But now, there is another reason to stop by and pay tribute to one of the finest there. We will all be in search of the first transaction, eventually.

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