NSF PR 00-88 - November 7, 2000
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New Grid Portal to Improve U.S. Researchers' Access
to Advanced Computing Resources
Computational scientists will soon have a powerful
new tool for using resources on the national "grid"
of high-performance research networks. The web-based
grid portal will help computer scientists, scientists
and engineers by simplifying and consolidating access
to advanced computing systems supported by the National
Science Foundation (NSF) and its Partnerships for
Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI).
The National Partnership for Advanced Computational
Infrastructure (NPACI), the National Computational
Science Alliance (NCSA), and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing
Center (PSC) have announced formation of the integrated
grid portal. NPACI and Alliance will demonstrate a
prototype at SC2000, November 4-10 in Dallas.
"The collaboration efforts mean that computational
scientists will have access to machines supported
by NPACI, the Alliance, PSC, and NASA, provided that
they have accounts," said Richard Hilderbrandt, NSF
program director for the PACI program. "The complementary
efforts of the PACI partnerships have made the PACI
grid portal a reality."
A PACI-wide secure environment will give researchers
access to resources through a single log-in. The integrated
portal extends the capabilities of the NPACI HotPage
to include computational resources from the Alliance
and PSC, as well as those from the NASA Information
Power Grid (IPG). Representatives from NPACI, the
Alliance, and NASA IPG have conducted a series of
workshops targeting specific technologies and resources
to include in the effort to demonstrate computational
science portals using the high-end systems made available
by each organization.
NPACI resources include systems at the San Diego Supercomputer
Center (SDSC), the University of Texas, the University
of Michigan, and Caltech. Alliance resources include
systems at NCSA, Boston University, the University
of New Mexico, the Maui High Performance Computing
Center, the University of Wisconsin, and the University
of Kentucky. PSC systems include the new NSF funded
Terascale Computing System slated to begin operation
in February. NASA IPG will also add its Ames, Glenn
and Langley research centers to the grid.
Currently the portal uses GridPort and the CA Client
from SDSC, MyProxy from NCSA, Globus and the Grid
Index Information Service from the Globus Project,
and the community-supported Grid Security Infrastructure.
In addition, for authentication, the portal uses MyProxy,
which is the result of collaboration between the Alliance,
NPACI and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications,
which has led the MyProxy development.
"This portal integrates many leading-edge grid technologies
being developed by the PACI program," said Mary Thomas,
manager of the Computational Science Portals group
at SDSC. "Through continued collaboration, future
releases of the portal will integrate additional PACI
technologies, such as the Network Weather Service
and the SDSC Storage Resource Broker."
NPACI unites 46 universities and research institutions
to build the computational environment for tomorrow's
scientific discovery. Led by the University of California
San Diego and SDSC, NPACI is funded by NSF's PACI
program and receives additional support from the State
and University of California, other government agencies
and partner institutions.
PACI also provides operational support to NCSA, which
is a partnership to prototype an advanced computational
infrastructure for the 21st century and includes more
than 50 academic, government and industry research
partners from across the United States.
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort
of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of
Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric
Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported
by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
and private industry.
For more about the grid portal, see: http://portals.paci.org/
For more information about PACI, see: http://cise.nsf.gov/acir/