Technology audit and insertion service for TeraGrid

TeraGrid was an open scientific discovery infrastructure combining leadership class resources at 11 partner sites to create an integrated, persistent computational resource. This project implemented an extensive monitoring and auditing framework to quantitatively measure performance of the TeraGrid infrastructure to ensure the delivery of the highest possible quality of service at each site and lay a framework for greater understanding of coordination and delegation of work within other virtual organizations.

Start date: 9/1/2009
End date: 8/31/2014

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Using high-performance network connections, TeraGrid integrated computers, data resources and tools, and high-end experimental facilities around the country. With this combination of resources, TeraGrid became the world's largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research. 

The availability of robust, easy-to-use, and extensive monitoring and auditing framework to quantitatively measure performance of the TeraGrid infrastructure was needed to ensure the delivery of the highest possible quality of service at each site.  To effectively address the needs of users, an active set of tools needed to be developed to monitor the advanced cyberinfrastructure of the TeraGrid, including its ability to effectively and as seamlessly as possible meet the research needs of the end user. To assess user needs, researchers will engage in a rigorous multi-method approach to gather user requirement data and then analyze these data to inform subsequent software development and deployment.

TeraGrid has since been replaced by the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which expands on the TeraGrid project to allow scientists to complete thousands of projects at no cost to them. More than 10,000 scientists used the TeraGrid, and that same sort of work continues with XSEDE, only in more detail, generating more new knowledge and improving the world in a broader range of fields.

The impact of the auditing framework was highly beneficial to the overall productivity and utilization of TeraGrid resources. This framework can be reused within other activities outside of TeraGrid, in the XSEDE project, in the burgeoning cloud computing industry where auditing and total power utilization are of prime importance, as well as university-based HPC centers to help improve performance and the delivery of resources.  This research demonstrated broader intellectual contributions, particularly in the domain of increased understanding of coordination and delegation of work within virtual organizations.

The guiding philosophy of this effort was based on user-centered design with each software release representing an occasion to assess performance and usability in order to inform the next iteration of development.  The strategy focused on mixed methods, including annual user surveys of randomly sampled respondents; log analysis (e.g., correlates of resource utilization); social network analysis (e.g., connections between information seekers and providers in question-and-answer forums); interviews (e.g., of focal resource users and providers); and direct observation (e.g., on site observation of users under operational conditions)

This grant is a subcontract from the main grant at SUNY Buffalo under Principal Investigator Thomas Furlani.

Visit the XSEDE site here to read about the evolution of the TeraGrid project.

Grants

Technology Audit and Insertion Service for TeraGrid, National Science Foundation: $700,494

 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"

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