Altair Adds Open-Source Licensing to PBS Pro
Kyle Maxey posted on June 22, 2016 |
Altair's PBS Pro goes Open Source

Altair's PBS Pro goes Open Source

Altair has announced that its high-performance computing (HPC) workload manager, PBS Professional, will now be available with open-source licensing.

One of the problems that continues to hinder HPC is that, by and large, there’s a greater demand for computing cycles than there are CPUs and GPUs available. With researchers and engineers lining up to have their calculations crunched, it’s critical that HPC schemes have effective job management software that can keep track of a queue or jobs and assign the appropriate hardware to each project.

“Scheduling is a basic building block of HPC,” remarked Bill Nitzberg, PBS Works CTO. But how does one make sure that scheduling software is keeping up with the pace of HPC innovation?

One way that a company can keep pace with change is to open its development up to the community of people who are actively using HPC with an open-source license.

It makes sense, right?

If you’re using a product, you’re more likely to notice the ways in which a piece of software could be improved by adding a new feature or removing a stumbling block. That’s where open-source software can be powerful. It gives users access to the code that a piece of software is built on so that they can create new tools for their favorite programs. By creating an open-source license option, Altair is betting that by leveraging the expertise of the HPC community, it can make PBS Professional an even better piece of software.

“Our intent is to continuously push the boundaries of HPC to pursue exascale computing through active participation with the HPC community,” said James R. Scapa, Altair’s CEO. “Working together toward common goals will allow for resources to be applied more efficiently. Our dual-licensing platform will encourage public and private sector collaboration to advance globally relevant topics, including big data, cloud computing, advanced manufacturing, energy, life sciences and the inexorable move toward a connected world through the Internet of Things.” The term exascale refers to the number of floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) a processor can perform (1 exaflop = 1 billion billion FLOPS).

As more companies become interested in the Internet of Things and complex simulation, HPC is going to become even more popular with engineering firms. As the number of HPC users continues to stack up, job management software will need to improve continuously. Open source can help. But then again, increasing the number of cores the planet has at its disposal might also be useful. 

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