Blue Waters to Use Globus Online File Transfer Service

By Tiffany Trader

January 24, 2012

When Blue Waters comes online this year, researchers will be able to spend more of their valuable time on actual research, thanks in part to Globus Online, a cloud-based managed file transfer service. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has selected Globus Online as the data movement solution for the Blue Waters supercomputer. Globus Online allows end users to move and synchronize files reliably between multiple locations without having to install and manage complex software.

Globus Online logoBlue Waters is on track to becoming one of the world’s premier supercomputers with an expected peak performance of more than 11.5 petaflops. The powerful system will enable cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs in a broad range of disciplines, but first researchers need a reliable, secure, and preferably easy, way to move their data. That’s what Globus Online was made for, explains Steve Tuecke, co-PI for the Globus project at University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory’s Computation Institute.

While there are other file transfer tools out there, they are more targeted to the consumer space or commercial market, says Tuecke. What sets Globus Blue Waters National Petascale Computing Facility exteriorOnline apart is that it’s geared toward the research world, where high-speed networks go hand-in-hand with complex security requirements. Globus Online caters specifically to the research community, and has targeted that audience every step of the way.

In light of this, it’s perhaps not surprising that when NCSA needed a data transfer solution for Blue Waters, Globus Online was their first choice. Traditionally, Globus would make the first move with prospective customers, but Tuecke said that in this instance, it was the other way around: NCSA reached out to them. Blue Waters, unbeknownst to Globus, had performed their own trial runs with the solution, liked what it offered, and went to Globus to work out a partnership.

Michelle Butler, NCSA technical program manager, shares a similar story. She notes that there are other solutions out there than can either transfer data or manage data, but not with the ease-of-use and reliability and security that Globus offers. According to Butler, when it comes to “a push-button, easy data transfer mechanism that uses the tools [they’ve] been using for years (Globus tools like GridFTP), nothing else compares.”

Using Globus Online

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.

When asked about the unique requirements of Blue Waters, Butler cited the use of one-time passwords, an authentication method that relies on the use of key fobs. The file transfer service must also keep pace with Blue Waters’ powerful servers and interconnects, including 40 10 Gigabit Ethernet links, as well as an integrated file system capable of providing more than a terabyte-per-second of aggregate storage bandwidth. Globus Online is also supplying Blue Waters with a custom interface for a more seamless user experience.

Tuecke notes that satisfying the requirements of the Blue Waters project has contributed to improvements in the company’s entire software ecosystem including their original offering, Globus Toolkit. The latest release of which, Globus Toolkit 5.2, now comes with native packaging to support the various flavors of Linux.

The Globus Online service is based on the open-source Globus Toolkit, a fundamental enabling technology for grid computing. Developed and provided by the Globus Alliance, the popular middleware toolkit is used in HPC production grids worldwide. At the heart of Globus Online is GridFTP, a data transfer protocol optimized for high-speed wide-area networks. Although GridFTP is a highly-effective data transfer tool, it can be difficult to implement. Enter Globus Online, which delivers the same functionality in an easy-to-use format. It works across and between any servers that have the GridFTP software installed, but the underlying complexity is hidden from the user. “Under the covers,” says Tueke, “Globus online is really just a fancy client to our traditional Globus toolkit to FTP, but we’ve made it adoptable by any researcher out there.”

Security is another major feature of Globus Online. In a typical research environment, data needs to be able to cleanly traverse multiple security domains, so Globus created a technique for managing cross-organizational, multi-domain security environments. “We were able to do the big data with the cross-organizational security,” says Tuecke.

Globus Online made its debut in November 2010 at the Supercomputing Conference where it was also announced that NERSC (the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) had selected the file transfer tool. Since then, adoption has increased steadily. Globus Online is the data transfer tool of choice at a number of universities and research centers, including the UK National Grid Service.

Tuecke sees big opportunities for Globus Online going forward, perhaps even going beyond simple transfer to a more intensive management role. He believes the market for cloud services will continue to expand as the technology matures. And as cloud-based systems evolve to support a broader range of workloads, Globus’ mission is to make the process as easy as possible on the data side, says Tuecke.

As a final note, Tuecke says the software-as-a-service path is all about delivering needed capability in a fashion that is easily adoptable and employable by end users without having to install software and manage updates and so on. “Users just want to point their browser at a site and use the capability,” he says.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

UCSD, AIST Forge Tighter Alliance with AI-Focused MOU

January 18, 2018

The rich history of collaboration between UC San Diego and AIST in Japan is getting richer. The organizations entered into a five-year memorandum of understanding on January 10. The MOU represents the continuation of a 1 Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Tennessee), Satoshi Matsuoka (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Read more…

By John Russell

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown and Spectre security updates on the performance of popular H Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and NREL Take Steps to Create a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Data Center with an H2 Fuel Cell

As enterprises attempt to manage rising volumes of data, unplanned data center outages are becoming more common and more expensive. As the cost of downtime rises, enterprises lose out on productivity and valuable competitive advantage without access to their critical data. Read more…

Fostering Lustre Advancement Through Development and Contributions

January 17, 2018

Six months after organizational changes at Intel's High Performance Data (HPDD) division, most in the Lustre community have shed any initial apprehension around the potential changes that could affect or disrupt Lustre Read more…

By Carlos Aoki Thomaz

UCSD, AIST Forge Tighter Alliance with AI-Focused MOU

January 18, 2018

The rich history of collaboration between UC San Diego and AIST in Japan is getting richer. The organizations entered into a five-year memorandum of understandi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Te Read more…

By John Russell

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fostering Lustre Advancement Through Development and Contributions

January 17, 2018

Six months after organizational changes at Intel's High Performance Data (HPDD) division, most in the Lustre community have shed any initial apprehension aroun Read more…

By Carlos Aoki Thomaz

SRC Spends $200M on University Research Centers

January 16, 2018

The Semiconductor Research Corporation, as part of its JUMP initiative, has awarded $200 million to fund six research centers whose areas of focus span cognitiv Read more…

By John Russell

When the Chips Are Down

January 11, 2018

In the last article, "The High Stakes Semiconductor Game that Drives HPC Diversity," I alluded to the challenges facing the semiconductor industry and how that may impact the evolution of HPC systems over the next few years. I thought I’d lift the covers a little and look at some of the commercial challenges that impact the component technology we use in HPC. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This