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!

Quantum Rolls – DOE Dishes $218M; NSF Awards $31M; US Releases ‘Strategic Overview’

September 24, 2018

It was quite a day for U.S. quantum computing. In conjunction with the White House Summit on Advancing American Leadership in Quantum Information Science (QIS) held today, the Department of Energy announced $218 million Read more…

By John Russell

Russian and American Scientists Achieve 50% Increase in Data Transmission Speed

September 20, 2018

As high-performance computing becomes increasingly data-intensive and the demand for shorter turnaround times grows, data transfer speed becomes an ever more important bottleneck. Now, in an article published in IEEE Tra Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

IBM to Brand Rescale’s HPC-in-Cloud Platform

September 20, 2018

HPC (or big compute)-in-the-cloud platform provider Rescale has formalized the work it’s been doing in partnership with public cloud vendors by announcing its Powered by Rescale program – with IBM as its first named Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Clouds Over the Ocean – a Healthcare Perspective

Advances in precision medicine, genomics, and imaging; the widespread adoption of electronic health records; and the proliferation of medical Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices are resulting in an explosion of structured and unstructured healthcare-related data. Read more…

Democratization of HPC Part 1: Simulation Sheds Light on Building Dispute

September 20, 2018

This is the first of three articles demonstrating the growing acceptance of High Performance Computing especially in new user communities and application areas. Major reasons for this trend are the ongoing improvements i Read more…

By Wolfgang Gentzsch

Quantum Rolls – DOE Dishes $218M; NSF Awards $31M; US Releases ‘Strategic Overview’

September 24, 2018

It was quite a day for U.S. quantum computing. In conjunction with the White House Summit on Advancing American Leadership in Quantum Information Science (QIS) Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Accelerates AI Inference in the Datacenter with T4 GPU

September 14, 2018

Nvidia is upping its game for AI inference in the datacenter with a new platform consisting of an inference accelerator chip--the new Turing-based Tesla T4 GPU- Read more…

By George Leopold

DeepSense Combines HPC and AI to Bolster Canada’s Ocean Economy

September 13, 2018

We often hear scientists say that we know less than 10 percent of the life of the oceans. This week, IBM and a group of Canadian industry and government partner Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Rigetti (and Others) Pursuit of Quantum Advantage

September 11, 2018

Remember ‘quantum supremacy’, the much-touted but little-loved idea that the age of quantum computing would be signaled when quantum computers could tackle Read more…

By John Russell

How FPGAs Accelerate Financial Services Workloads

September 11, 2018

While FSI companies are unlikely, for competitive reasons, to disclose their FPGA strategies, James Reinders offers insights into the case for FPGAs as accelerators for FSI by discussing performance, power, size, latency, jitter and inline processing. Read more…

By James Reinders

Update from Gregory Kurtzer on Singularity’s Push into FS and the Enterprise

September 11, 2018

Container technology is hardly new but it has undergone rapid evolution in the HPC space in recent years to accommodate traditional science workloads and HPC systems requirements. While Docker containers continue to dominate in the enterprise, other variants are becoming important and one alternative with distinctly HPC roots – Singularity – is making an enterprise push targeting advanced scale workload inclusive of HPC. Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Wins Next NSF-funded Major Supercomputer

July 30, 2018

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has won the next NSF-funded big supercomputer beating out rivals including the National Center for Supercomputing Ap Read more…

By John Russell

IBM at Hot Chips: What’s Next for Power

August 23, 2018

With processor, memory and networking technologies all racing to fill in for an ailing Moore’s law, the era of the heterogeneous datacenter is well underway, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Requiem for a Phi: Knights Landing Discontinued

July 25, 2018

On Monday, Intel made public its end of life strategy for the Knights Landing "KNL" Phi product set. The announcement makes official what has already been wide Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

ORNL Summit Supercomputer Is Officially Here

June 8, 2018

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) together with IBM and Nvidia celebrated the official unveiling of the Department of Energy (DOE) Summit supercomputer toda Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

By John Russell

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

AMD’s EPYC Road to Redemption in Six Slides

June 21, 2018

A year ago AMD returned to the server market with its EPYC processor line. The earth didn’t tremble but folks took notice. People remember the Opteron fondly Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17


AMD @ SC17


ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack



DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17


IBM @ SC17


IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17


Lenovo @ SC17


Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17


Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17


Tyan @ SC17


Univa @ SC17


Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

Sandia to Take Delivery of World’s Largest Arm System

June 18, 2018

While the enterprise remains circumspect on prospects for Arm servers in the datacenter, the leadership HPC community is taking a bolder, brighter view of the x86 server CPU alternative. Amongst current and planned Arm HPC installations – i.e., the innovative Mont-Blanc project, led by Bull/Atos, the 'Isambard’ Cray XC50 going into the University of Bristol, and commitments from both Japan and France among others -- HPE is announcing that it will be supply the United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a 2.3 petaflops peak Arm-based system, named Astra. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

TACC’s ‘Frontera’ Supercomputer Expands Horizon for Extreme-Scale Science

August 29, 2018

The National Science Foundation and the Texas Advanced Computing Center announced today that a new system, called Frontera, will overtake Stampede 2 as the fast Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GPUs Power Five of World’s Top Seven Supercomputers

June 25, 2018

The top 10 echelon of the newly minted Top500 list boasts three powerful new systems with one common engine: the Nvidia Volta V100 general-purpose graphics proc Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Machine Learning Hype Cycle and HPC

June 14, 2018

Like many other HPC professionals I’m following the hype cycle around machine learning/deep learning with interest. I subscribe to the view that we’re probably approaching the ‘peak of inflated expectation’ but not quite yet starting the descent into the ‘trough of disillusionment. This still raises the probability that... Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This