Oct. 23, 2019 — Scientists looking to reduce their complexity to research and add a new computational tool to their tool belt can explore the Tapis Project. The Tapis software platform aims to help researchers more easily leverage powerful supercomputers and integrate and manage data from different and distant sources.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $2.9 million grant to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), in addition to a $1 million award to the University of Hawaii (UH). The NSF awards started September of 2019 and supports continued development of Tapis, short for TACC-APIs and plays off of the word tapestry — weaving together services and capabilities. An application programming interface (API) is an interface to a software system that has been built or engineered for another program to use.
“Tapis is a research computing platform for computational science and computational research,” said principal investigator (PI) Joe Stubbs, who manages the Cloud and Interactive Computing Group at TACC. “Tapis is a software system that helps researchers use the supercomputers and other kinds of computing resources that we have here at TACC and at other places.”
“The easiest way to describe Tapis is that it’s a web-based application that provides all the tools a modern scientist needs to do data-intensive, computationally-intensive research,” said Co-PI Gwen A. Jacobs, Director of Cyberinfrastructure, University of Hawai’i System. “One of the things that’s different about Tapis is that it weaves together all the important tools that the researcher needs. That’s the real power of Tapis.”
Tapis will serve a diverse group of users with varying expertise in using computational tools for their research. On one end of the spectrum will be ‘power users’ with extensive experience of advanced computing resources and programming. Tapis will help them automate and streamline their large workflows or pipelines of software applications.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are scientists just beginning to tap into the possibilities of applying advanced computing to their research. “What we’re trying to do for them with Tapis,” said Stubbs, “is have the easiest road to entry on running computational programs on the supercomputers.”
And then there’s the group in the middle, typically large software development projects focused on specific research domains, such as immunology, astronomy, or bioinformatics.
“The goal with Tapis is to enable researchers to access these computational resources in a more user-friendly way,” said Stubbs.
The NSF-funded computational resources are broadly described as cyberinfrastructure, the online ecosystem shared by researchers, backed up by advanced computing resources, hosted in data centers, and supported by experts. “Web developer teams and other developers on those cyberinfrastructure projects can leverage Tapis to build their cyberinfrastructure project more quickly.”
To read the full article, visit: https://www.tacc.utexas.edu/-/tapis-computing-platform-weaves-together-science-computing-tools
Source: Jorge Salazar, TACC