Globus and Grid: Blazing Trails for Future Discovery

By Elizabeth Leake

September 13, 2012

The discovery of the Higgs boson is a major scientific achievement, the culmination of 48 years of dedicated effort by the global High Energy Physics (HEP) community.

The hunt for the elusive particle began in 1964 when theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, and others, described the mechanism that would explain the origin of mass. It took many years for the theory to be accepted by the HEP community, and then useful technology was developed, on many fronts, which accelerated the process of discovery.

Of course, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) played a pivotal role in the discovery, but the introduction of grid-enabled computing was really the key to their success.

The roots for grid go back to the Supercomputing ’95 Conference in San Diego, California. At the event, a team led by Ian Foster (from Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago, US) demonstrated the successful execution of a number of applications running over 17 geographically distributed sites participating in the I-Way experiment. The project used middleware called I-Soft that would later, in collaboration with Carl Kesselman and his colleagues at the University of Southern California, US, become Globus Toolkit.

In the US, Globus Toolkit continues to provide homogeneity, with eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), Open Science Grid (OSG), and many other projects depending on it. In Europe, several countries and domains embraced the concept, and since 1996, additional middleware varieties have been funded and developed for specific applications. But with projects hitting up against four-to-five-year funding cycles, some have fallen by the wayside. Still enough have survived that navigating the disparate middleware presents challenges, especially in regard to global collaboration, and federated e-Infrastructures have found that heterogeneity is difficult to sustain in terms of development and funding. This is probably why the number of prevailing options in Europe dropped from five in 2007, to four in 2011, among them gLite, ARC, Globus Toolkit and UNICORE – with UNICORE being the only one that does not include Globus components. Of the four, only Globus Toolkit and UNICORE are common to PRACE and EGI and have the ability to bridge the e-Infrastructures by offering a common interface to the user. In the US, OSG continues to depend heavily on both Globus Toolkit and Condor Project software as well as community-developed software for handling its massive amounts of data and jobs.

In late 2002, the HEP community formed a coordinated effort known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Computing Grid, or LCG, which leveraged LCG-2 middleware. This would become their high-throughput highway to the LHC at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) near Geneva, sited between Switzerland and France. LCG involved high-throughput distributed resources from the OSG in the US and Europe’s Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE, which became European Grid Infrastructure, EGI, in 2010). There were four major experiments at CERN, but the ATLAS and CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) projects were launched to cross-check and verify Higgs boson findings.

ATLAS and CMS each represent a vast multinational collaboration of more than 3,000 physicists from 41 countries and 179 institutes, with some overlap. They built upon research by many projects which leveraged the Large Electron Positron (predated LHC at CERN); the US Department of Energy’s Tevatron Collider at Fermilab; and the Stanford (University-US) Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). In 2010, high energy capability was introduced to the LHC (first operational in 2008). That’s when the HEP community finally had what they needed to prove Higgs’ theory on the 4th of July, 2012. EGI Deputy Director Catherine Gater chronicled the five years leading up to the discovery in an International Science Grid This Week (iSGTW) feature.

While the global HEP community was first to embrace grid technologies to this extreme, today research teams from all arenas span the globe in pursuit of life-transforming discoveries. Their workflows include a variety of resources and leverage advanced networks to engage the high-throughput systems represented by EGI and OSG, plus high-performance supercomputers (HPC), storage, visualization resources, and expertise offered by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) and the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) in the US. To facilitate this diversity, XSEDE includes access to OSG as a supported resource allocation request. There is also a joint process that allows EU-US collaborative teams to submit unified requests for allocations of PRACE and XSEDE resources (the 2012 deadline is September 15, 2012).

Last spring’s EGI Community Forum in Munich, Germany, was co-located with the Initiative for Globus in Europe’s (IGE) annual user conference, and the European Globus Community Forum (EGCF). During the conference, IGE signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Middleware Initiative (EMI), a close collaboration of Europe’s major middleware providers. IGE and EMI deliver middleware components for deployment by European e-Infrastructure providers that facilitate multinational collaboration. Through IGE and EMI’s relationship with EGI, a quality assurance process was established to specify requirements, test, solicit feedback, and apply lessons learned in an effort to continuously improve EGI’s offerings.

EMI is a three-year project that engages European users and global infrastructure providers to assess specific needs, identify redundancies, and develop a collection of consolidated and harmonious software components. Deliverables include three major releases and subsequent minor revisions, as necessary. Each set is designed to comply with open-source guidelines and to integrate with Europe’s mainstream operating systems. Major releases include Kebnekaise (EMI-1, 12 May, 2011); Matterhorn (EMI-2, May 21, 2012); and Monte Bianco (EMI-3, February 28, 2013).

Although many consider the Globus Toolkit to be US software, it is open source and its developer and user communities include many Europeans who recognize its value. On October 25, 2010, IGE’s roadmap was presented by Steve Crouch (UK-University of Southampton) and Helmut Heller (Germany-LRZ) at the first EGI Technical Forum in Amsterdam. At that time, EGI’s Unified Middleware Distribution (UMD) officially recognized IGE as a technology provider. Their plan included timelines for the integration of resources by European e-Infrastructure providers, including EGI, PRACE, and EU-IndiaGrid2.

Globus Toolkit has been widely used in Germany since their D-Grid initiative began in 2005. The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Munich installed it on its supercomputers in 2002. Europe’s fastest computer, the SuperMUC, became operational at the LRZ in August this year. SuperMUC and LRZ are committed to serve IGE-supported middleware and will most likely be driving forces for future development and use of Globus Toolkit by Europe’s scientific community.

Globus Online Software-as-a-service

At the GlobusWORLD 2012 conference in Chicago last April, Foster (Globus Project co-founder) quoted the late Steve Jobs (Apple) who said “Start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” Applying this philosophy and a commitment to continuous improvement, Foster and the Globus team recently launched a new effort that leverages cloud technologies to develop the Globus Online software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. With hosted, professionally-operated services, and intuitive Web 2.0 interfaces, Globus Online aims to increase usability and functionality dramatically relative to past grid software. The SaaS model streamlines the process of delivering new features and enables the service’s capabilities to be rapidly refined based on early user feedback. When EU countries add the Globus Toolkit (in particular, GridFTP and MyProxy servers) to their middleware stack, they can take advantage of Globus Online services without requiring additional software.

From left: Steve Tuecke (Globus Online, UChicago/Argonne) and IGE Program Director Helmut Heller (LRZ) at the 2011 EGI Technical Forum in Lyon, France

From left: Steve Tuecke (Globus Online, UChicago/Argonne) and IGE Program Director Helmut Heller (LRZ) at the 2011 EGI Technical Forum in Lyon, France

At the March IGE meeting, the University of Chicago’s Steve Tuecke, Globus Online co-founder, presented its capabilities and anticipated future development with European interoperability in mind. Globus Online’s features for high performance, secure file transfer were recently integrated with the ATLAS PanDA workload management system and it is in the testing phase. An upcoming Globus service that simplifies big-data storage and sharing could substantially enhance how the HEP community manages the massive amounts of data generated by the LHC and the new subatomic field of physics research launched by the Higgs boson discovery. Future development will target additional services to offer a comprehensive research data management solution delivered using SaaS approaches.

Of course, the biggest challenge faced by multinational collaborations is satisfying the security and privacy policies of every institution, government, and network along the way. Globus Online incorporates Globus Nexus, a service that manages user identities, including profiles, groups, and information about resources connected to the Globus research cloud. Like all Globus services, the Globus Nexus features may be accessed via a Web browser, command line, and a REST-ful programming interface that enables organizations to better integrate Globus services into their infrastructure.

The EGI Technical Forum 2012 takes place next week, from September 17-21, in Prague, Czech Republic, at the Clarion Congress Hotel. GlobusEUROPE 2012 is co-located and scheduled for Monday, September 17. The event is hosted by EGI.eu in partnership with CESNET, the consortium of Czech universities and the Czech Academy of Sciences that represents the country in the EGI Council. HPC in the Cloud is covering the event live, so check back for more coverage soon.

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!

At Long Last, Supercomputing Helps to Map the Poles

August 22, 2019

For years,” Paul Morin wrote, “those of us that made maps of the Poles apologized. We apologized for the blank spaces on maps, we apologized for mountains being in the wrong place... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Xilinx Says Its New FPGA is World’s Largest

August 21, 2019

In this age of exploding “technology disaggregation” – in which the Big Bang emanating from the Intel x86 CPU has produced significant advances in CPU chips and a raft of alternative, accelerated architectures... Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputers Generate Universes to Illuminate Galactic Formation

August 20, 2019

With advanced imaging and satellite technologies, it’s easier than ever to see a galaxy – but understanding how they form (a process that can take billions of years) is a different story. Now, a team of researchers f Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Efficiency and Cost-Optimization for HPC Workloads – AWS Batch and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

High Performance Computing on AWS leverages the power of cloud computing and the extreme scale it offers to achieve optimal HPC price/performance. With AWS you can right size your services to meet exactly the capacity requirements you need without having to overprovision or compromise capacity. Read more…

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Bring the combined power of HPC and AI to your business transformation

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) acceleration cards are not new, as they’ve been commercially available since 1984. Typically, the emphasis around FPGAs has centered on the fact that they’re programmable accelerators, and that they can truly offer workload specific hardware acceleration solutions without requiring custom silicon. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Keys to Attracting the Newest HPC Talent – Post-Millennials

[Connect with HPC users and learn new skills in the IBM Spectrum LSF User Community.]

For engineers and scientists growing up in the 80s, the current state of HPC makes perfect sense. Read more…

Singularity Moves Up the Container Value Chain

August 20, 2019

The enterprise version of the Singularity HPC container platform released this week by Sylabs is designed to allow users to create, secure and share the high-end containers in self-hosted production deployments. The e Read more…

By George Leopold

At Long Last, Supercomputing Helps to Map the Poles

August 22, 2019

For years,” Paul Morin wrote, “those of us that made maps of the Poles apologized. We apologized for the blank spaces on maps, we apologized for mountains being in the wrong place... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

IBM Deepens Plunge into Open Source; OpenPOWER to Join Linux Foundation

August 20, 2019

IBM today announced it was contributing the instruction set (ISA) for its Power microprocessor and the designs for the Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Inter Read more…

By John Russell

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Scientists to Tap Exascale Computing to Unlock the Mystery of our Accelerating Universe

August 14, 2019

The universe and everything in it roared to life with the Big Bang approximately 13.8 billion years ago. It has continued expanding ever since. While we have a Read more…

By Rob Johnson

AI is the Next Exascale – Rick Stevens on What that Means and Why It’s Important

August 13, 2019

Twelve years ago the Department of Energy (DOE) was just beginning to explore what an exascale computing program might look like and what it might accomplish. Today, DOE is repeating that process for AI, once again starting with science community town halls to gather input and stimulate conversation. The town hall program... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader and John Russell

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Drives Single-Socket Servers with AMD Epyc Rome CPUs

August 7, 2019

No summer doldrums here. As part of the AMD Epyc Rome launch event in San Francisco today, Lenovo announced two new single-socket servers, the ThinkSystem SR635 Read more…

By Doug Black

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray, AMD to Extend DOE’s Exascale Frontier

May 7, 2019

Cray and AMD are coming back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to partner on the world’s largest and most expensive supercomputer. The Department of Energy’s Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphene Surprises Again, This Time for Quantum Computing

May 8, 2019

Graphene is fascinating stuff with promise for use in a seeming endless number of applications. This month researchers from the University of Vienna and Institu Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

In Wake of Nvidia-Mellanox: Xilinx to Acquire Solarflare

April 25, 2019

With echoes of Nvidia’s recent acquisition of Mellanox, FPGA maker Xilinx has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Solarflare Communications, provider Read more…

By Doug Black

Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive

June 7, 2019

Investors are zeroing in on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture and the processor intellectual property being developed by a batch of high-flying chip startups. Last fall, Esperanto Technologies announced a $58 million funding round. Read more…

By George Leopold

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