Interview: Steve Simms Re-elected as Community Representative Director for OpenSFS

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This week OpenSFS announced that Stephen Simms, manager of high performance file systems at Indiana University, has been elected Community Representative Director for the 2014 term. We caught up with Simms to learn more about this role and the upcoming LUG 2014 conference in Miami.

insideHPC: You’ve been re-elected as Community Representative Director for OpenSFS. Are congratulations or condolences in order?

Stephen Simms

Stephen Simms

Stephen Simms: Were I _Phil_ Simms, had his paycheck, and free time, I’d go to Disneyland. In all seriousness, it’s great to know that I have the support of the Lustre community and that they trust me to represent their interests. The board has final approval on how OpenSFS funds are spent, whether for new feature development or having a promotional presence at SC. Having a community voice in that process is important and I’m honored to have been elected. Definitely congratulations, though you should probably ask me again next March.

insideHPC: What are your responsibilities as Community Representative Director?

Stephen Simms: Like any corporate board member, I’m expected to attend weekly board meetings and face-to-face meetings. I gather input on important topics from Lustre community members. As I have in the past, I will continue to make myself available by attending weekly OpenSFS working group calls. I am also visible and available to all at LUG meetings and other HPC events. Lastly, I want to make sure that my vote reflects the wishes of the community and promotes community interests.

insideHPC: It’s been said that one of the keys to the success of Lustre has been the strength of its user community. Would you agree?

Stephen Simms: Yes, I agree. I was at the third LUG in Snowbird, Utah, when Indiana University’s Data Capacitor was just an idea and we were just starting to use Lustre. At that time, I was impressed with the intelligence and generosity of the community. While core Lustre developers have changed employers three times and the Lustre intellectual property has changed hands three times, the number of sites using Lustre continues to grow and grow. I feel the same sense of community that I felt in 2005.

insideHPC: How do you carry that forward?

Stephen Simms: It’s been said that you should be the change you want to see. IU will continue to share experience and expertise with all who ask, promote a single Lustre tree to ensure community unity, and participate in OpenSFS while encouraging others who depend on Lustre to do the same.

insideHPC: Will you once again be the master of ceremonies at LUG coming up in Miami?

Stephen Simms: Yes, it will be a pleasure to serve in this capacity again. The planning committee has worked hard this year to help deliver a fun and informative conference. This will be our first year to feature a poster session and that’s something I’m excited to see.

insideHPC: What do you see as the key things to get accomplished this year at LUG 2014?

Stephen Simms: With Indiana being hit by the repeating “polar vortex,” it will be nice to be in Miami, but I’ll be way too busy to work on my tan. That having been said, a key mission for OpenSFS to accomplish is to keep attendees up to date on where Lustre is at. In addition to the technical talks identifying Lustre’s current capabilities, departing community representative director, Tommy Minyard, will deliver an OpenSFS commissioned report from an independent organization examining the current state of Lustre.

insideHPC: Is there still time to register for LUG?

Stephen Simms: The window is closing for online registration. The last date is March 31, so run don’t walk to your browser and type:

This should be an excellent program with talks ranging from the aforementioned Lustre state of the union address to where HPC experts imagine that things will look like in the year 2020. I sincerely hope that you gentle readers will join us in Miami.