Software-defined computing

Building on the success of IBM Spectrum LSF 10

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IBM Spectrum LSF 10 was released in June 2016, delivering significant architectural enhancements and increases in scalability and performance. New functionalities are now being built on top of that solid foundation. This month will see the release of IBM Spectrum LSF, which will add several new capabilities.

Container technologies offer many benefits, particularly in portability, allowing you to run any application you wish. However, in the world of corporate IT, this deregulation of the environment gives some IT managers sleepless nights. Similarly, while the industry has largely agreed on the container format, there are numerous container run times, each with different security models and usage.

To address this, a consistent container interface is being introduced, leveraging the IBM Spectrum LSF application profile functionality to allow the administrator greater control over which containers can be run and what file systems are mounted. Administrators will also be able to hide the specific container run time from the user and, in the case of Docker, remove the need for the user to be a member of the user group — the user never gains any elevated privileges. This interface currently supports Docker, Shifter and Singularity.

The IBM Spectrum LSF resource connector interface has also been extended to provide support for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in addition to OpenStack. This allows workload driven creation and removal of additional compute resources in an EC2 environment.

The Perl and Python APIs have been updated to support IBM Spectrum LSF 10, with added functionality to simplify using the simultaneous multithreading (SMT) modes of IBM POWER8 with affinity. IBM has also formalized support for Intel Xeon Phi Knights Landing processors and support for deep learning frameworks such as TensorFlow and Caffe.

A new feature called “dynamic feature delta” has been added to LSF License Scheduler, which enables greater utilization of application software licenses.

Finally, IBM Spectrum LSF Suite for high-performance computing (HPC) and IBM Spectrum Symphony Advanced Edition are being added to the IBM Academic Initiative. The Academic Initiative program helps educators worldwide teach students market ready skills. Educators at primary, secondary and higher learning schools, research professionals at accredited institutions and IBM employees whose work supports the Academic Initiative can leverage these resources.

Academic Initiative no-charge program benefits include:

  • Complimentary or discounted access to IBM software, courseware, hardware and technology resources
  • Skill building opportunities ranging from IBM and ecosystem events to student competitions

To find out more about these programs, you can visit IBM On the Hub and the Academic Initiative.

Learn more about the IBM Spectrum LSF and other members of the IBM Spectrum Computing family of products and tell us what you think.

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