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April 10, 2012

Live from GlobusWorld 2012

Tiffany Trader

GlobusWorld 2012 kicked off today at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago. While the official conference starts tomorrow, day one was reserved for the pre-conference tutorials. This is a banner year for the Globus community in many ways. Globus turns 15 this year, and the conference is celebrating its 10th year. The cloud-based Globus Online tool has experienced a successful first year, most notably being selected as the data transfer solution for the Blue Waters supercomputer in January.

GlobusWorld logo 2012This theme for this year’s conference is “Move. Store. Collaborate.” and tomorrow’s presentations will focus on the ways that the Globus tools enable these important tasks. The keynote talks will be delivered by XSEDE’s John Towns, Blue Waters’ Michelle Butler, and Globus Founder Ian Foster.

The 2012 event is breaking new ground with the following additions:

  • Day 1 tutorials offer a hands-on introduction to Globus Online.
  • New product announcements.
  • Multiple tutorial tracks to accommodate specific user needs.
  • Resource roundtable with tips and tricks from hardware and network providers.
  • “Grill the Gurus” panel for Q&A with the full team of Globus developers.
  • Globus Online user and resource owner stories.
  • Birthday celebrations: 15 years of Globus, 10 years of GlobusWORLD and the first year of Globus Online.

The formal sessions will cover an array of topics, including user experiences, campus success stories, community updates, and resource provider spotlights.

On Tuesday, University of Chicago researcher Borja Sotomayor commenced the Day One tutorial proceedings by providing a general overview of the Globus Toolkit and Globus Online.

As Sotomayor explained, Globus Online provides a mechanism for reliable robust file transfer to any researcher with an Internet connection and a client. The high performance service works across multiple security domains and boasts automated file recovery. globus logoUsers can move terabytes of data in just hours, while the cloud service monitors the process.

Since Globus Online lives in the cloud on Amazon EC2, that means there is “no IT required.” End users don’t need to install any software and new features are automatically available. Additionally, Globus Online offers consolidated troubleshooting and support and works with existing gridFTP servers.

After explaining the benefits of Globus Online, Sotomayer went over the basics of account setup and demonstrated some simple commands, including how to select endpoints and how to create a new endpoint using Globus Connect. At the close of the introductory session, developers and administrators broke up into separate groups.

Developer TrackThe first Developer Track session, Globus Online CLI and Advanced Scripting, was led by Lisa Childers, Karl Pickett, and Raj Kettimuthu. The tutorial gave attendees the opportunity to explore advanced usage of Globus Online via the Command Line Interface (CLI), and showed how to use scripts for controlling Globus Online operations. Tutorial material is available here.

During the same time period, the Admin Track, Globus Online Endpoint Setup with Globus Connect Multi-User, was facilitated by Borja Sotomayor and Lukasz Lacinski. Aimed at resource administrators, the tutorial detailed the process of using the Globus Connect Multi-User feature to set up a resource for file transfer.

Admin TrackThe second Developer Track session, Integrating with the Globus Online API, was led by Bryce Allen. This tutorial detailed how to use the Globus Online Transfer REST API for programmatic interaction with Globus Online and provided examples of how to use the Transfer REST API to integrate Globus Online with Java and Python clients and Web–based portals.

The second Admin Track, Advanced Endpoint Configuration with Globus Toolkit, was taught by Borja Sotomayor and Raj Kettimuthu. The tutorial covered advanced processes for configuring file transfer endpoints using the latest version of the Globus Toolkit (GT 5.2).

In this new era of big data, it’s more important than ever that researchers have the ability to easily move ever-larger files. Because it offers a way to do exactly this, Globus Online has received overwhelming support from users. Already it’s been used to transfer nearly 3.6 petabytes of data.

NERSC user David Skinner reports: “The system is reliable and secure – and also amazingly easy to use. Our scientists don’t have to worry about about whether files can get where they need to go, or wonder about the best way to tune the system. It just works.”

“I’m now using Globus Online for all my transfers. I’m getting around 80-90% of the best possible performance with Globus Online, which is reason enough to use it. But for me, the nice, consistent interface and the reliability of Globus Online are just as important, and the authorization management is great,” notes Galen Arnold, Systems Engineer, NCSA and Blue Waters PRAC support team, NCSA. “The time before Globus Online now seems like the dark ages!”

Check back over the following days for additional conference coverage.