Open Grid Engine Schedules a New Path

One of the open source refugees from the Oracle/Sun takeover finds a welcome home.

Back in September, I wrote about some of the changes with Sun Grid Engine (SGE). Basically, there was some concern due to the release of the version 6.2u6 product binaries, but no corresponding update to the open source tree. The open source site had no updates and was still at version 6.2u5. Obviously, the recent acquisition of Sun by Oracle added further concern. In particular, many believed Oracle was going to kick open SGE to the street. There have been some changes, but no kicking has been noted.

First let’s have a look at what Oracle had to say, as posted on the gridengine.sunsource.net mailing list by Dan Templton on December 24. The list has not had any traffic since January 2 and is presumed closed. Here are the highlights:

Today, we are entering a new chapter in Oracle Grid Engine’s life. Oracle has been working with key members of the open source community to pass on the torch for maintaining the open source code base to the Open Grid Scheduler project hosted on SourceForge. This transition will allow the Oracle Grid Engine engineering team to focus their efforts more directly on enhancing the product. In a matter of days, we will take definitive steps in order to roll out this transition. To ensure on-going communication with the open source community, we will provide the following services:

  • Upon the decommissioning of the current open source site on December 31st, 2010, we will begin to transition the information on the open source project to Oracle Technology Network’s home page for Oracle Grid Engine. This site will ultimately contain the resources currently available on the open source site, as well as a wealth of additional product resources.

  • The Oracle Grid Engine engineering team will be available to answer questions and provide guidance regarding the open source project and Oracle Grid Engine via on-line product forum.

  • The Open Grid Scheduler project will be continuing on the tradition of the Grid Engine open source project. While the Open Grid Scheduler project will remain independent of the Oracle Grid Engine product, the project will have the support of the Oracle team, including making available artifacts from the original Grid Engine open source project.

Not exactly kicked to the street, but clear that you can’t come back inside if it starts raining. Oracle seems to be trying to do the right thing and they will continue to develop and sell a version of Oracle Grid Engine.

As the dust continues to settle, the good news is SGE had open source insurance and as such will not vanish even when companies do. The first big announcement is from Univa where they have hired the principal engineers from the Sun/Oracle Grid Engine team, including Grid Engine founder and original project owner Fritz Ferstl. Univa will concentrate on improving Grid Engine for technical computing and HPC and promote the continuity of the Grid Engine open source community. Good news indeed. For a good overview and some history check out this article by one of the original developers, Wolfgang Gentzsh.

There are still a few things that need to be worked out. There seem to be two code repositories. The first is Son Of Grid Engine set up by David Love. This site has plenty of information and includes important links. It also has instructions on how to build the code. The second site, as mentioned by Oracle, is the Open Grid Scheduler project. This site is mostly a code dump and was set up by many of the community coders who worked on SGE in the past.

There are other interested parties as well and there is an ongoing discussion on how to proceed with two code bases. The next big announcement was the emergence of GridEngine.org. This site has more background and information including the mention of a Steering Committee comprised of the following people:

These are the right people for the job and I expect that before to long a unified code base called Open Son of Grid Engine Scheduler (or some more suitable name) will surface. At that point I expect a great future for all those involved. There is also a new mailing list that is worth joining.

Of course, you can still buy Oracle Grid Engine (OGE) if you so desire. With all the interest Oracle has shown in HPC, I can’t see a down side to that choice. Seriously, Oracle has plans for OGE which don’t involve HPC and now that Univa, The BioTeam, and Bad Dog Consulting have stepped up to the plate, I’m sure the HPC crowd will know who to call.

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