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!

With New Owner and New Roadmap, an Independent Omni-Path Is Staging a Comeback

July 23, 2021

Put on a shelf by Intel in 2019, Omni-Path faced a uncertain future, but under new custodian Cornelis Networks, OmniPath is looking to make a comeback as an independent high-performance interconnect solution. A "significant refresh" – called Omni-Path Express – is coming later this year according to the company. Cornelis Networks formed last September as a spinout of Intel's Omni-Path division. Read more…

PEARC21 Panel Reviews Eight New NSF-Funded HPC Systems Debuting in 2021

July 23, 2021

Over the past few years, the NSF has funded a number of HPC systems to further supply the open research community with computational resources to meet that community’s changing and expanding needs. A review of these systems at the PEARC21 conference (July 19-22) highlighted... Read more…

Chameleon’s HPC Testbed Sharpens Its Edge, Presses ‘Replay’

July 22, 2021

“One way of saying what I do for a living is to say that I develop scientific instruments,” said Kate Keahey, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago and a computer scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, as s Read more…

PEARC21 Plenary Session: AI for Innovative Social Work

July 21, 2021

AI analysis of social media poses a double-edged sword for social work and addressing the needs of at-risk youths, said Desmond Upton Patton, senior associate dean, Innovation and Academic Affairs, Columbia University. S Read more…

Summer Reading: “High-Performance Computing Is at an Inflection Point”

July 21, 2021

At last month’s 11th International Symposium on Highly Efficient Accelerators and Reconfigurable Technologies (HEART), a group of researchers led by Martin Schulz of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (Munich) presented a “position paper” in which they argue HPC architectural landscape... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Accelerate innovation in healthcare and life sciences with AWS HPC

With Amazon Web Services, researchers can access purpose-built HPC tools and services along with scientific and technical expertise to accelerate the pace of discovery. Whether you are sequencing the human genome, using AI/ML for disease detection or running molecular dynamics simulations to develop lifesaving drugs, AWS has the infrastructure you need to run your HPC workloads. Read more…

PEARC21 Panel: Wafer-Scale-Engine Technology Accelerates Machine Learning, HPC

July 21, 2021

Early use of Cerebras’ CS-1 server and wafer-scale engine (WSE) has demonstrated promising acceleration of machine-learning algorithms, according to participants in the Scientific Research Enabled by CS-1 Systems panel Read more…

With New Owner and New Roadmap, an Independent Omni-Path Is Staging a Comeback

July 23, 2021

Put on a shelf by Intel in 2019, Omni-Path faced a uncertain future, but under new custodian Cornelis Networks, OmniPath is looking to make a comeback as an independent high-performance interconnect solution. A "significant refresh" – called Omni-Path Express – is coming later this year according to the company. Cornelis Networks formed last September as a spinout of Intel's Omni-Path division. Read more…

Chameleon’s HPC Testbed Sharpens Its Edge, Presses ‘Replay’

July 22, 2021

“One way of saying what I do for a living is to say that I develop scientific instruments,” said Kate Keahey, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago a Read more…

Summer Reading: “High-Performance Computing Is at an Inflection Point”

July 21, 2021

At last month’s 11th International Symposium on Highly Efficient Accelerators and Reconfigurable Technologies (HEART), a group of researchers led by Martin Schulz of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (Munich) presented a “position paper” in which they argue HPC architectural landscape... Read more…

PEARC21 Panel: Wafer-Scale-Engine Technology Accelerates Machine Learning, HPC

July 21, 2021

Early use of Cerebras’ CS-1 server and wafer-scale engine (WSE) has demonstrated promising acceleration of machine-learning algorithms, according to participa Read more…

15 Years Later, the Green500 Continues Its Push for Energy Efficiency as a First-Order Concern in HPC

July 15, 2021

The Green500 list, which ranks the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world, has virtually always faced an uphill battle. As Wu Feng – custodian of the Green500 list and an associate professor at Virginia Tech – tells it, “noone" cared about energy efficiency in the early 2000s, when the seeds... Read more…

Frontier to Meet 20MW Exascale Power Target Set by DARPA in 2008

July 14, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, the United States’ first exascale computer, Frontier, is set to arrive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) later this year. Crossing this “1,000x” horizon required overcoming four major challenges: power demand, reliability, extreme parallelism and data movement. Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

ExaWind Prepares for New Architectures, Bigger Simulations

July 10, 2021

The ExaWind project describes itself in terms of terms like wake formation, turbine-turbine interaction and blade-boundary-layer dynamics, but the pitch to the Read more…

AMD Chipmaker TSMC to Use AMD Chips for Chipmaking

May 8, 2021

TSMC has tapped AMD to support its major manufacturing and R&D workloads. AMD will provide its Epyc Rome 7702P CPUs – with 64 cores operating at a base cl Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Berkeley Lab Debuts Perlmutter, World’s Fastest AI Supercomputer

May 27, 2021

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held virtually at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today marked the official launch of Perlmutter – aka NERSC-9 – the GPU-accelerated supercomputer built by HPE in partnership with Nvidia and AMD. Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer called Dojo to process truly vast amounts of video data. It’s a beast! … A truly useful exaflop at de facto FP32.” Read more…

Google Launches TPU v4 AI Chips

May 20, 2021

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke for only one minute and 42 seconds about the company’s latest TPU v4 Tensor Processing Units during his keynote at the Google I Read more…

CentOS Replacement Rocky Linux Is Now in GA and Under Independent Control

June 21, 2021

The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is announcing the general availability of Rocky Linux, release 8.4, designed as a drop-in replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued CentOS. The GA release is launching six-and-a-half months after Red Hat deprecated its support for the widely popular, free CentOS server operating system. The Rocky Linux development effort... Read more…

CERN Is Betting Big on Exascale

April 1, 2021

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) involves 23 countries, 15,000 researchers, billions of dollars a year, and the biggest machine in the worl Read more…

Iran Gains HPC Capabilities with Launch of ‘Simorgh’ Supercomputer

May 18, 2021

Iran is said to be developing domestic supercomputing technology to advance the processing of scientific, economic, political and military data, and to strengthen the nation’s position in the age of AI and big data. On Sunday, Iran unveiled the Simorgh supercomputer, which will deliver.... Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

HPE Launches Storage Line Loaded with IBM’s Spectrum Scale File System

April 6, 2021

HPE today launched a new family of storage solutions bundled with IBM’s Spectrum Scale Erasure Code Edition parallel file system (description below) and featu Read more…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

GTC21: Nvidia Launches cuQuantum; Dips a Toe in Quantum Computing

April 13, 2021

Yesterday Nvidia officially dipped a toe into quantum computing with the launch of cuQuantum SDK, a development platform for simulating quantum circuits on GPU-accelerated systems. As Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang emphasized in his keynote, Nvidia doesn’t plan to build... Read more…

Microsoft to Provide World’s Most Powerful Weather & Climate Supercomputer for UK’s Met Office

April 22, 2021

More than 14 months ago, the UK government announced plans to invest £1.2 billion ($1.56 billion) into weather and climate supercomputing, including procuremen Read more…

Q&A with Jim Keller, CTO of Tenstorrent, and an HPCwire Person to Watch in 2021

April 22, 2021

As part of our HPCwire Person to Watch series, we are happy to present our interview with Jim Keller, president and chief technology officer of Tenstorrent. One of the top chip architects of our time, Keller has had an impactful career. Read more…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

Senate Debate on Bill to Remake NSF – the Endless Frontier Act – Begins

May 18, 2021

The U.S. Senate today opened floor debate on the Endless Frontier Act which seeks to remake and expand the National Science Foundation by creating a technology Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire