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Globus Online Among 2012 R&D 100 Award Winners

By Vas Vasiliadis // June 20, 2012

Globus Online, the software-as-a-service for secure, reliable data movement developed by the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory was named the recipient of an R&D 100 Award, recognizing it as one of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced in the past year.

Often referred to as the “Oscars of Innovation”, the R&D 100 Awards have long been a benchmark of excellence for industry sectors as diverse as telecommunications, high-energy physics, software, manufacturing, and biotechnology. The winners represent a cross-section of industry, academia, private research firms, and government labs.

Globus Online addresses a central problem in the emerging world of big data research: moving large quantities of information reliably, efficiently, and securely among the data centers, scientific facilities, research laboratories, supercomputing sites, and cloud providers where data is produced, transformed, stored, and consumed.

“We believe Globus Online has solved a problem that seems trivial but in reality is a critical bottleneck to scientific research progress”, said Ian Foster, Computation Institute director and Globus Online co-inventor. “Almost every discipline is dealing with massive — and growing — amounts of data. If we can save researchers even a small fraction of their time, the collective impact on research productivity will be substantial.”

This is borne out by the rapid adoption of Globus Online among a diverse set of individual researchers and institutions. Since its launch the service has attracted more than 5,000 registered users who have moved more than five petabytes (five million gigabytes, or 5 x 1015 bytes!) of data. Globus Online is recommended by leading supercomputing centers such as NCSA and NERSC, and is rapidly becoming an integral part of U.S. and international research infrastructure. The service continues to receive unsolicited, high praise from researchers who say that Globus Online has become an indispensible tool, and are eagerly anticipating the release of additional software-as-a-service offerings for research data management in the coming months.

Since 1963, the R&D 100 Awards have identified revolutionary technologies newly introduced to the market. Many of these have become household names, helping shape everyday life for many Americans. These include the flashcube (1965), the automated teller machine (1973), the halogen lamp (1974), the fax machine (1975), the liquid crystal display (1980), the Kodak Photo CD (1991), and HDTV (1998).

Globus Online is a fast, reliable file transfer service that simplifies the process of secure data movement. With Globus Online, robust transfer capabilities that were previously available only on expensive, difficult-to-use, special-purpose systems are now accessible to virtually any researcher with an Internet connection and a laptop. Users can fire-and-forget their request and Globus Online will manage the entire operation – monitoring performance, retrying failed transfers, recovering from faults automatically whenever possible, and reporting status. Globus Online significantly reduces transfer time, with some users reporting movement of terabytes of data in hours. For more information please visit

Winners of the R&D 100 Awards are selected by an independent judging panel and the editors of R&D Magazine. The publication and its online portal serve research scientists, engineers, and other technical staff members at high-tech industrial companies and public and private laboratories around the world. Winners will be recognized at the R&D 100 Awards Banquet on Nov. 1, 2012, in Orlando, Florida.