News around the Linux on Power Community
I did the original "Experts" posting on August 1, 2011. Since then, we've also had postings by Bill Buros, Performance Architect, and Steve Munroe, Toolchain Architect. As we add more, we will make sure to tag them all with an "experts" tag such that you will always be able to find them easily in the blog. Here is a quick link that will always work.
StevenMunroe 060000BRH9 Tags:  stevenmunroe experts ibm-sdk-lop advancetoolchain powerisa 1 Comment 7,054 Views
By: Bill Buros.
As several of us (expanding quickly into many of us) are involved in kicking off this new Think Power Linux community, Jeff Scheel has mentioned in an earlier post that he'd like to get more "experts" listed here on Think Power Linux.
Working in the IBM Linux Technology Center is a fascinating and interesting experience in the industry. We work daily with many of the best programmers in the world on Power systems, working on today's servers, tuning, optimizing, improving the software stacks specifically for the many POWER7 server solutions, and of course focusing on tomorrow's ideas, products, and technologies.
In that context, I hardly feel qualified as an "expert", but I will certainly admit that being in the middle of Performance on a server platform that prides itself on industry leading performance is a cool place to be. My background is years of development programming, development management, product ownership, working closely with our independent software vendors, marketing/sales/account teams, and over the last years in the performance analysis teams on Power servers. That background gives me a good perspective of working with varying perspectives and views, which allows us to easily shift from helping customers, working with business partners and software vendors, and designing the new products to solve ever more complex problems.
In a performance team, there's always a balance of nailing down performance focus items to be black and white unambiguous information, in an environment where the context of useful information usually falls back into the realm of "well, it depends". We rely on tangible benchmarks, recognizing the good and the bad of benchmarks. In the good sense, benchmarks can often provide clear and useful comparisons between the combinations of hardware, software, and interconnected systems. In the bad sense, benchmarks are generally not always reflective of real-life customer use, and in marketing collateral, can be mis-used and poorly characterized.
Our focus is in transforming the benchmark, system, server, software experiences into real-life best practices, hints, tips, and recommendations. We've discovered that it's easy to create wiki informational pages, and much harder to maintain them with current information over the long-term. For example, over the last couple of years, we went a little crazy with pages, with indexes and targeted information spanning many aspects of performance.
With the new Think Power Linux community, our team has already started to update the many performance pages and move them over to the new community, Developerworks articles, and IBM's Information Center for Linux. Two very recent examples are:
These two articles are good examples that reflect contributions from a wide breadth of people - in my mind the real experts - like Steve Munroe, Michael Meissner, Chakarat Skawratananond, Peter Wong, Brian Hall, and many others.
In the Think Power Linux community and on Power Linux, watch for more articles, new updates, improved tools, and of course ever-improving performance. We hope you'll help us with questions, thoughtful comments, and insights into what you're doing with Power servers, Linux, and the applications you care about. Comment here (below), or post a message/question on the Think Power Linux Message Board.
By: Jeff Scheel.
I hope you "Think" our Power Linux community is starting to come together. It's taking some time to bring the pieces together, but we're making progress. Since Rome wasn't built in a day, hopefully you'll understand if the Think Power Linux community takes a couple months.
Speaking of Rome and building, did you know that IBM's effort with Power Linux is over 10 years old. Yes, I was one of the original team members focused on putting Linux on the iSeries. That mission grew into the ppc64 kernel and glibc that ultimately became the core of today's shipping RHEL and SLES distributions. During that time, I've held lots of leadership roles, including manager, release architect, and various other IBM-speak titles which won't mean much to most people. I even managed to get one patch accepted into the kernel, quite an accomplishment for an IBM Manager. About 5 years ago, the Linux for Power mission merged into IBM's larger Linux Technology Center where we now work. This move combined our team with teams focused on doing platform independent Linux work as well as enabling IBM's System x and System z platforms -- effectively giving us access to a worldwide extended team of over 400 developers in over 40 countries. It's been lots of working getting this far, but also alot of fun working with a terrific team.
I've been with IBM 20 years. I started working on I/O adapters writing microcode for SCSI bus controller chips. Then, I joined the team which brought logical partitions (LPARs) to the iSeries (formerly AS/400) systems. This code base eventually became the design point for what we now call PowerVM on Power Systems. After getting our LPAR function under control, the next logical step was to add Linux to a partition and despite my doubts about the project, it's turned into quite the opportunity to impact the business. With one exception, a 2 year 'sabbatical" where I worked with the Blue Gene team on their Blue Gene /P product, I've been working with Power Linux.
Today, as the Chief Architect, I wear a variety of different hats. I like to tell folks that "architect equals fireman, traffic cop, politician, salesman, referee, switchboard operator, janitor, or as my colleagues affectionately call me, just a 'basic slug.'" Seriously, my day-to-day role is deciding how we spend our resource and setting technical direction. That means I help decide where the code gets written, but not actually writing the code. It also means that you'll find me filling in around the outside of the projects, giving presentations, answering questions, helping out where I can.
My personal focus this year is on our ecosystem. I'm helping where I can to get the Think Power Linux community off and running. Therefore, you'll find me creating wiki pages like the "Knowledge is Power" topic, writing blogs like this one, and answering posts to the message board. If you need help, check out the information in the community and then post to the message board if you can't find the needed information. I'm watching all posts and working to ensure that they get answered. If that doesn't work or if you want a more personal dialogue, feel free to drop me an email at the address in my profile (see the "General info" tab).
In the spirit of "ecosystem", I'd like to leave you with a couple useful Power Linux links:
Hopefully, you'll find at least one to be worthwhile.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. Hopefully, I've put a little more of a virtual "face" behind the name. Look for more posting from other Experts in the coming months.