XSEDE resources will enhance advanced computational abilities to use track and mitigate the effects of a disaster. When the blowout of the British Petroleum (BP) Macondo well destroyed the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, it touched off the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, leading to a full-scale effort to stop the leak, assess the full scope of the damage, and take steps to minimize further harm. At universities across the nation, researchers used advanced cyberinfrastructure available through the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), both TeraGrid resource providers, to help inform the response effort and forecast the oil spill’s impact throughout the Gulf Coast region. This is an immersive (3-D made from 2-D) simulation of oil flow through water, based on computational fluid dynamics simulations. The “ribbons” show the particles; color and thickness indicate movement. XSEDE will enable greater discovery and learning to address future environmental challenges. Credit: Marcel Ritter, Jian Tao, Haihong Zhao, LSU Center for Computation and Technology
partnership of 17 institutions last week announced a new project that
allows researchers open access to the power of supercomputers, advanced
computational tools and digital resources and services directly from
Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the
project links computers, data and people from around the world to
establish a single, virtual system that scientists can interactively use
to conduct research.
by the National Science Foundation (NSF), XSEDE will be the most
advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated advanced digital
resources and services in the world. NSF will fund the project for five
years at $121 million.
scientific discovery though enhanced researcher productivity is our
goal, and XSEDE’s ultimate reason for being,” explained Barry Schneider,
a program director in NSF’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure.
this sort of cyberscience to be truly effective and provide unique
insights, it requires a cyberinfrastructure of local computing hardware
at sites around the country, advanced supercomputers at larger centers,
generally available software packages, and fast networks. Ideally, they
should all work together so the researcher can move from local to
national resources transparently and easily,” says Schneider.
and the experts who lead the program, will make that ideal a reality as
it replaces and expands the TeraGrid project that started more than a
More than 10,000 scientists used the TeraGrid to complete thousands of research projects at no cost to the scientists.
will enable that same kind of work?only providing more detail,
generating more new knowledge and improving our world in an even broader
range of fields.
TeraGrid really helped invent the concept of having digital resources
like supercomputers, tools and expertise spread across the country and
allowing researchers to easily use them,” said John Towns of the
University of Illinois’s National Center for Supercomputing
Applications. Towns, who had a variety of roles in the TeraGrid project,
will lead the XSEDE project.
is much more than just the same old resources that TeraGrid offered,”
Towns said. “XSEDE will take the next step by lowering technological
barriers to access and use. We are creating a distributed
cyberinfrastructure in which researchers can establish private, secure
environments that have all the resources, services, and collaboration
support they need to be productive.”
TeraGrid simulations map the movement of the Earth’s mantle for greater insight into earthquakes. Tectonic plate motion is represented by arrows, with viscosity arising from global mantle flow simulation. Plate boundaries, which can be seen as narrow red lines above insert are resolved using an adaptively refined mesh with 1km local resolution. Shown are the Pacific and the Australian tectonic plates and the New Hebrides and Tonga microplates. XSEDE will enable the same kind of work, but will provide greater precision, more detail, and new knowledge. Credit: Georg Stadler, Institute for Computational Engineering & Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin
XSEDE User Access Layer, for example, will provide a comprehensive view
of the resources available–not just those at XSEDE partner sites, but
any resources. It will integrate authentication and job monitoring,
providing a comprehensive view and single contact point for all the
cyberinfrastructure that researchers need to achieve their science and
will provide an array of services to ensure that researchers can make
the most of the supercomputers and tools. This will include outreach to
new communities that have not traditionally used cyberinfrastructure and
other digital services. It will also include advanced support for very
large, complicated, or novel uses of XSEDE resources.
XSEDE will support 16 supercomputers across the country. It also will
include other specialized digital resources and services to complement
these computers. These resources will be expanded throughout the
lifetime of the project.
XSEDE partnership includes: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;
Carnegie Mellon University/University of Pittsburgh; University of
Texas at Austin; University of Tennessee Knoxville; University of
Virginia; Shodor Education Foundation; Southeastern Universities
Research Association; University of Chicago; University of California,
San Diego; Indiana University; Jülich Supercomputing Centre (Germany);
Purdue University; Cornell University; Ohio State University; University
of California, Berkeley; Rice University and the National Center for
Atmospheric Research. The University of Illinois’s National Center for
Supercomputing Applications leads the project.
The project officially began on July 1, 2011.