By Rob Mitchum // April 1, 2015
With today’s faster internet speeds and file-sharing services, many of us take data transfer for granted. But when files and datasets are measured in terabytes and petabytes instead of megabytes, many of the struggles of the past return: long waiting times, mid-transfer failures, and clunky interfaces. Since its origins as a toolkit for grid computing in the 90’s, the CI’s Globus project has evolved into a simple software-as-a-service antidote for these transfer headaches, helping researchers around the world move massive amounts of data in fast, secure, and reliable fashion. As the need for this scale of movement grows, word about Globus spreads, with the latest attention coming from GCN (Government Computing News).
Describing Globus as “a concierge service for big data transfers,” reporter Carolyn Duffy Marsan profiles their data transfer capabilities and newer offerings such as the Globus data publication and discovery tools. In the article, she talks to the CI and Globus’ Vas Vasiliadis, and one of the many customers from national laboratories and universities who use the service.
The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, which supports researchers in Boston from the Center’s base in western Massachusetts, is one user of the service. MGHPCC director John Goodhue said the software has an interface that’s easy for scientists to use without needing IT support. The benefit of Globus is that it optimizes the way a large file is transmitted across the network.
“Globus figures out the speediest way to get the file from here to there,” Goodhue said. “It has a set of performance monitoring tools to periodically check those paths and make sure nothing is hindering the transfer rate. You can think of it as an overlay on the Internet that is very careful about the paths it chooses and also tests those paths to make sure the transfer rates can be very high.”
Goodhue said Globus makes the transfer “simple, fast and transparent for researchers to move big datasets from one place to another.’’
For more on Globus, visit their website or watch the keynote from CI director Ian Foster at last year’s Globusworld conference. Globusworld 2015 will be held later this month at Argonne National Laboratory.