Every day, I encounter at least one Wikipedia article about something computer-related, which should logically make sense to me if I've spent my entire life growing up with and dealing with computers on a technical/deeper level, never playing any games or using them in a "consumer" manner.

But then I see one of these Wikipedia articles about some cryptic nonsense and I have no idea what it's saying. It's like reading a text written by aliens from a different on not just a different planet, but a completely different universe:


Platform Load Sharing Facility (or simply LSF) is a workload management platform, job scheduler, for distributed high performance computing. It can be used to execute batch jobs on networked Unix and Windows systems on many different architectures.[2][3]

IBM Platform Application Center: Web interfaces for job submission, management and remote visualization.

IBM Platform RTM: A real-time dashboard for monitoring global workloads and resource. IBM Platform License Scheduler: License management tool with policy-driven allocation and tracking of software licenses. IBM Platform Analytic : Analytic tool for visualizing and analyzing workload data. IBM Platform Process Manager: An interface for designing complex engineering computational processes IBM Platform Session Scheduler: Scheduling for LSF IBM Platform Dynamic Cluster: Cloud management software to change static cluster into dynamic share cloud resources

... what? This is literal word salad to me. They might as well have randomly generated this article.

Is this an actual product of some kind? That is actually used? That has a purpose?

What is a "workload management platform, job scheduler, for distributed high performance computing"? Why would you need some incredibly cryptic and weird separate product which is somehow related to IBM but also open source (???) to run commands in a batch script?

When reading that article, and many like it, and many other websites as well (which apparently sell some service or software), I don't feel like I belong in this world, or that I grew up with computers. I feel like somebody who has time-traveled from the distant, ancient past to a confusing, scary future where humans no longer resemble humans at all, and there is such a degree of abstraction and convoluted software that it might as well be magic at this point, and few if anyone can tell the difference between randomly generated texts and actual product descriptions.

It can be used to execute batch jobs on networked Unix and Windows systems on many different architectures.

Again, why is this a separate product/thing? What does that sentence even mean? I know what a batch job is, I know what Unix and Windows are, I know what networked means, and I know what architectures refer to, but I don't understand what that sentence is saying.

I'm quite serious about this question: What in the hell is this?

  • the answer that's here is already pretty spot-on, but i'd like to point out: "…related to IBM but also open source (???)" — IBM produces a lot of open source software
    – Fox
    Nov 19, 2020 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


Tools like this are typically used in HPC (High-Performance Computing) applications, in environments where you have large clusters of computers working together. The idea is that you submit a workload to the scheduler (typically a workload that is very compute-intensive and could benefit from different parts of it running in parallel), it figures out what computers are available to run the various pieces of the workload, and it farms out the individual pieces of the workload to the cluster members that it's selected. Then when everything is done running, it collects all the results and makes them available for you to collect.

This particular product is a specific case of a more general concept of job schedulers, and the Wikipedia page for that might be a bit easier to digest...

  • I think LSF is one of those things you just need hands on experience with. I'm a programmer at a large organization and we have LSF on our HPC cluster. I wrote a program on a "normal" server that took 14 hours to run, so someone told me to run it on HPC and apparently LSF is what allows me to do that. I interact with it using a set of commands, which let me add a job to a queue, specify how many cores and memory it should use, where the logs go, etc. LSF finds the nodes and cores to make it happen. I can run a command to see what else is running, what resources they're taking up, etc.
    – Kelly
    Oct 4, 2022 at 16:49

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