Saturday, September 3, 2011

Globus Online to provide SAAS for NSF's XSEDE project

CHICAGO, USA: The Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory announced that its Globus Online data movement service will be a key component of the recently announced Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project for advanced cyberinfrastructure and digital services. XSEDE is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to replace and extend the TeraGrid supercomputing environment.

Globus Online will provide initial implementations of XSEDE User Access Services (XUAS) which will focus on reliable file transfer and user authentication. According to the initial XSEDE announcement, XUAS will provide a comprehensive view of the resources available--not just those at XSEDE partner sites, but any resources. It will integrate authentication and job monitoring, providing a comprehensive view and single contact point for all the cyberinfrastructure that researchers need to achieve their science and education goals.

The capabilities offered for XSEDE users via Globus Online are already available as a free service at

"We have been using Globus Online to move files to a TeraGrid cluster where we analyze and store tens of terabytes of data," said Peter Winter, postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington. "Globus Online has been very useful to copy data (so far 14TB in three weeks) from Switzerland to Texas. I plan to continue using Globus Online to access these resources within the XSEDE environment to easily get my files where they need to go."

"We already have dozens of users moving terabytes of data among XSEDE sites," said Ian Foster, Computation Institute director and Globus co-founder. "Globus Online makes it easy for scientists to move their data wherever they need it, which, in line with the XUAS mandate, means not only among XSEDE sites, but to any location. With Globus Online, XSEDE users can move files between any two endpoints including an XSEDE partner site, other facility site, campus server, other local computer, or home laptop."

Foster adds, "We look forward to having more XSEDE users sign up and begin using the service, so we can better address their needs as we integrate Globus Online into the XSEDE architecture."

Globus Online is a set of hosted (software as a service: SaaS) components designed to simplify the use of cyberinfrastructure by providing integrated access to computing and data resources. The service is supported by funding from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Globus Online makes it easy to move massive amounts of data, whether between supercomputing facilities or from a facility to a local server or personal computer, without requiring custom end-to-end systems.

The XSEDE project was announced in mid-July by a partnership of 17 institutions including the University of Chicago, home to Globus Online. XSEDE will be the most advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated digital resources and services in the world, initially supporting 16 supercomputers across the country. The NSF award for XSEDE totals $121 million over five years.

Some of the initial file transfer capabilities that will be offered via XSEDE are available today on the Globus Online website. Over time, XSEDE User Access Services will include additional Globus Online services such as group management, as well as capabilities provided by other systems.

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