GlobusWorld 2014: Keynote and some big ideas

April 23, 2014   |  Laurel Wamsley

GlobusWorld 2014 took place in Chicago last week and it was a great success, drawing more than 120 HPC computing experts and scientists to Argonne National Lab for the three-day event. Attendees participated in tutorials illuminating the full range of Globus capabilities, learned how different campuses are thriving with Provider Plans and Globus Plus, and heard about cutting-edge genomic research supported by Globus Genomics.

In a blog post at the Comptutation Institute, Rob Mitchum describes some of the big ideas that emerged at GlobusWorld:

One exciting area of expanded Globus use is on academic campuses -- some form of Globus services is now used on at least 85 U.S. campuses, Foster said. Some institutions, such as Indiana University, Michigan State University, the University of Exeter, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), have signed up for the new Globus Provider plan, which allows them to distribute endpoints and sharing subscriptions to campus users. The enhanced transfer and sharing capabilities allow campus IT services to help their users fulfill previously difficult policies for archiving and working on research data.

“We’ve got to the point where a couple of years ago this was a new technology that people were exploring, but at this point it’s become a best practice,” Foster said.

Another current culture shift in science is the push for publishing entire datasets for an experiment alongside the traditional journal article describing its results. Such open data would allow for increased transparency, faster replication of the findings by other scientists, and the opportunity for other researchers to discover their data and build upon the results. But just as moving large datasets between computers is not a trivial matter, finding a reliable and simple method for publishing experimental data can be difficult, slowing acceptance of this new approach.

“I believe strongly that making it possible for people to move their data around and automate sharing is a very important step towards data accessibility,” Foster said. “If it’s easy to move your data somewhere where other people can access it, you’re more likely to do it.”

To address this need, Globus will soon be launching data publication services, first announced by Foster using a very funny video here. The service will help automate the open publication and preservation of research data, and make it easier for users to search, browse, and access datasets that they might be interested in using. A prototype demonstration, by Kyle Chard andBen Blaiszik, showed how an experiment’s data can be shared and approved in about 10 minutes. The data publication services will begin beta testing this summer for early volunteer users, Foster said.

“We believe that by adopting this approach we can provide very powerful capabilities to many more people, at a price point that is affordable...and that can be sustainable over the long term,” Foster said.

Thanks so much for to all who participated, and we hope to see you at GlobusWorld 2015!