user story

UC Boulder Oceanography Study

University of Colorado

University of Colorado - Boulder

Oceanographers at the University of Colorado are using Globus to support an important new study examining the interaction of two critical phenomena: Langmuir cells, which organize whitecaps into the lines you see from shore; and sub-mesoscale eddies, which appear as minor whirls near a body of water’s surface.

While these two phenomena are small in scale, preliminary research has shown that each can have a dramatic impact on the larger ocean and thus the climate of the entire planet. However, the model resolution required to study the two processes together is unprecedented: The project requires regular movement of massive data files (~87 GB per snapshot) from NICS (the National Institute for Computational Sciences) to UCAR in Colorado – or to a user’s local desktop or laptop.

That’s where Globus comes in. According to one user, Globus delivers an average increase of 160x for download times to a laptop – even occasionally achieving “insanely fast” speeds of up to 400 megabits/second. And thanks to Globus’s auto-performance tuning and auto-retry capabilities, file transfer – which was once a major project hindrance – is now a trivial task. Users can fire and forget their data transfers and remain focused on their research instead of worrying about whether their data gets to its destination.


  • With Globus, I’m averaging 40 Mb/s and can even reach 400 Mb/s on occasion – that’s insanely fast!"
  • I plan on using Globus quite frequently in the near future, possibly once per day or more."
  • The standard transfer speed using scp from one TeraGrid machine was only around 0.25 megabits per second(Mb/s). It would have taken days to download just 1 slice of data to my desktop – I didn’t even bother trying to move my 87 GB file with this method."
  • A big benefit is the auto performance tuning. Choosing the right parameters for large transfers using other standard tools can be very complex, so Globus is an invaluable tool to me since it automates that process."
  • Job restart is a major benefit of Globus. Before I found myself having to monitor the job and change things every hour – I was spending way too much time on this relatively basic function instead of on my actual work. Now I can just fire and forget my transfer jobs – it’s a huge time saver."
  • In the past my downloads would sometimes fail after retreiving 60 GB, which was extremely frustrating. The auto-restart capability of GO alleviates the pain of having to resume downloads from the beginning when they fail."
  • We expect Globus to have a big impact on efficiency since we won’t have to sit around waiting for files to move."
  • Also, Globus will impact the job satisfaction and morale of our users – it’s stressful and frustrating to return to a long-running download and find out there was a problem. Globus removes that pain and restores peace of mind regarding file transfer. With Globus, our researchers have one less thing to worry about!"

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