January 25, 2012
Who said grid computing and big iron supercomputers don't mix? On Monday it was announced that the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has selected Globus Online as its file transfer solution for the center's upcoming Blue Waters supercomputer.
Globus used GridFTP, a de facto standard for high-performance data movement across large-scale distributed systems. Globus has wrapped a cloud-based interface around it so that users can easily manage file transfers to and fro without having to become experts at Linux and file management commands.
NSCA is not alone in signing up Globus for it supercomputing needs. Other HPC centers including NERSC, Brookhaven National Lab, and facilities at the University of Colorado and University of Chicago have also adopted the grid-based file transfer service.
An article this week in HPC in the Cloud, digs deeper into the whys and wherefores of the selection of Globus for Blue Waters. In the report, Michelle Butler, NCSA's technical program manager, outlines the responsibilities that the center has handed over to Globus:
Butler explains that Globus Online will be used for transferring data into and out of the Blue Waters machine. The SaaS-based tool will also be tasked with moving data within NCSA, and into both the Blue Waters and NCSA archives. "Anywhere data needs to be transferred within NCSA or Blue Waters, it will be transferred across the Globus Online mechanism," says Butler.
She goes on to praise the selection of Globus, saying that while there are solutions available that can transfer and manage data, they don't possess the ease of use, reliability and security of Globus.
Needless to say, the team at Globus is excited to have its solution deployed on what will soon be one of the most high-profile supercomputers in the world. Ian Foster, Globus Online co-founder and Director of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, noted that the new system will be running some of the most important science codes in existence, adding "We are thrilled to be a foundational service for such an important project."
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