What is your role within SGCI and what do you do?
I'm a systems architect and administrator on the team that operates the OpenStack cloud at TACC that hosts the SGCI tenant infrastructure. SGCI offers free hosting services for gateways interested in having a sandbox and testbed area for their gateway site or gateway software, and we provide the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to support that hosting. It's my responsibility to ensure that the systems are available and meet the needs of the community.
How did you come to be a part of SGCI, and why were you intrigued by the opportunity?
Maytal Dahan is the lead for the Scientific Software Collaborative in SGCI and one of its service offerings is the hosting environment. She is also the director of Advanced Computing Interfaces which I am a part of and we manage cloud resources such as the SGCI hosting services using TACC's Rodeo system. When SGCI was formed we required resources and expertise on how to effectively run these systems. Based on my skill set and experience, I was approached to lead the SGCI Hosting services. We were able to leverage our existing OpenStack offering and extend it to accommodate the needs of SGCI. I enjoy chances like this since they allow me to be part of delivering something to the scientific community while applying and improving my skill set.
What is the most challenging part of your work for SGCI?
Maintaining the systems that underpin any service can be a challenge, which is increased when one must account for the capabilities and flexibility provided by the cloud behind SGCI. Learning new techniques and technologies as we design and implement updates that improve the stability and maturity of the infrastructure keeps me on my toes.
How else are you involved in the technology or gateway community?
I have long been involved in scientific computation, HPC, and Linux administration. More recently, I have been involved with various cloud computing initiatives. Currently, I am the TACC site administrator and systems area lead for the ChameleonCloud project, which provides infrastructure forming an experimental testbed to the computer science community.
What do you most like to do in your free time?
With three teenaged kids and 3-year-old twins, my family keeps me pretty occupied. When I do get time to myself, I enjoy riding my bike on the rural roads outside of town.
If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?
Telekinesis has always struck me as being a practical and flexible power. The ability to mentally move objects has applications ranging from reaching items stuck in tight spaces to lifting larger equipment, an X-wing fighter for example.