This was the largest gathering of Linux-Itanium professionals that the world has seen to date, with delegates from more than 30 Gelato member institutions and significant representation from Gelato sponsors HP, SGI, and Intel. The event was hosted by Gelato founding sponsor, HP, at its Palo Alto and Cupertino campuses May 23-25.
"Our May meeting was the best attended and had the strongest technical program to date," stated Mark K. Smith, Gelato managing director. "It was a historic meeting bringing together Gelato members and our sponsors, HP, Intel, and SGI, to discuss ways to work together to expand the Linux-Itanium platform."
"We were pleased to host this meeting and delighted at the turnout by so many people from Gelato Federation organizations around the world," said Dick Lampman, senior vice president of research, HP, and director, HP Labs. "HP looks forward to continuing its work with Gelato members to create new software solutions for Linux on Itanium."
A major goal of the Gelato Federation is education, an area in which the May 2005 meeting excelled. Focused on understanding Itanium-based systems to maximize performance, the event delivered an exceptional speaker line-up and technical program with nearly three dozen presentations. Some of the favorites included: performance profiling, NUMA scalability issues and locking techniques, optimizing scientific libraries for Itanium, NASA applications on the SGI® Altix®, and Itanium 2 processor-related research at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Attendees also learned more about the next-generation dual-core Intel Itanium processor, codenamed 'Montecito,' through a presentation and a hands-on demonstration where attendees were able to run their own software.
"The Gelato Federation is made up of people and organizations that are passionate about Itanium and the advancement of the architecture," said Mark Davis, senior principal engineer at Intel. "Intel is excited about the work that this group is doing to bolster Linux development on Itanium and making Itanium the leading platform for high-performance computing applications."
In addition to presenting, Gelato members—some of the world's top supercomputing centers, national labs, research centers, and universities—were able to highlight their current Linux-Itanium research during a poster session. Three dozen member institutions presented over 100 projects, which denoted a wide range of activities, including: kernel work from the University of New South Wales and the University of Waterloo; grid projects from the Universidade Federal de Campina Grande and Zhejiang University; compiler work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Russian Academy of Sciences; and diverse scientific applications from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo.
Integral to the event was the open sharing of information and experiences, which spurred the beginning of several new projects and collaborative relationships. In attendance were many key members of the Linux-Itanium community, who profited from the vast knowledge pool and face-to-face interactions. Top Linux kernel and OS developers; Linux-Itanium application software developers and users; and Itanium compiler engineers, including a majority of Intel's team, were all present. Current senior Itanium architects and developers were able to confer with members of the original Itanium design team, Clemens Roothaan from the University of Chicago and Bill Worley of Secure64. Major Itanium authors David Mosberger, Stéphane Éranian, and John R. Harrison were on hand to discuss their work. In addition, the setting allowed influential corporate executives to converse with university researchers and major Itanium end users.
Beverly Bernard, SGI Linux product manager and Gelato liaison, explained, "SGI flagship server and visualization systems are now Linux OS-based and built entirely on the Itanium processor; therefore SGI welcomes the opportunity to combine its efforts with Gelato, Intel, and HP to encourage continued development of applications for Linux and Itanium 2. The recent Gelato conference was particularly successful in that it brought vendors and users together in a rich environment of shared ideas, projects, and enthusiasm for this powerful new computing platform."
With the tremendous amount of high-quality technical information delivered and critical mass of Linux-Itanium experts attending, Gelato's May 2005 meeting was a major success. At the end of 2-1/2 days of presentations, project updates, knowledge sharing, and brainstorming ideas for improving and expanding the platform, there was a palpable level of excitement as attendees were filled with a new vigor and determination to advance Linux on Itanium. The momentum will carry through to the next meeting planned for October 3-5, 2005, in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to be hosted by the Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul. All interested parties are welcome to attend.
The Gelato Federation is the global research community dedicated to advancing the Linux-Itanium platform through collaborative relationships targeting real-world problems and solutions. Gelato members are suppliers and users of Linux-Itanium technology with a shared goal of producing open-source solutions for academic, government, and industrial HPC research. The Gelato portal serves as the primary channel for Federation business and collaborations. Information about Gelato members' software and solutions are available through the portal, and the community is welcome to participate and contribute.
Intel and Itanium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.