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Interactions News Wire #58-05
20 July 2005 http://www.interactions.org
Source: Open Science Grid Consortium
Content: Press Release
Date Issued: 20 July 2005

Media Contact
Katie Yurkewicz, Grid Communications, Fermilab
+1 630 840 2877

Now Open for Scientific Research: Open Science Grid

Milwaukee, WI—The Open Science Grid Consortium today (Wednesday, July 20) officially inaugurated the Open Science Grid, a national grid computing infrastructure for large scale science. The OSG is built and operated by teams from U.S. universities and national laboratories, and is open to small and large research groups nationwide from many different scientific disciplines.  

The Consortium currently has over 20 member organizations contributing manpower and resources to a common cyberinfrastructure. Research groups that join the Consortium contribute to the use and operation of the OSG and have access to shared resources. The OSG includes over 10,000 CPUs and access to many terabytes of data storage. Initial funding comes from a variety of sources through member organizations.

U.S. participants in experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, currently being built at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, invest heavily in advancing OSG capabilities and development schedule. Other projects in physics, astrophysics, gravitational-wave science and biology contribute to the grid and benefit from advances in grid technologies. The services provided by the OSG will be further enriched as new projects and scientific communities join the Consortium.

“We’re doing something unique--the OSG is a working national-scale computing facility that was built from the bottom up and serves a diverse community of researchers,” said Paul Avery from the University of Florida, leader of the International Virtual Data Grid Laboratory and a member of the OSG Council.

The OSG is an evolution of Grid3, which has been running for almost two years. Grid3 and OSG include the efforts of the National Science Foundation-funded iVDGL and Grid Physics Network, and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science-funded Particle Physics Data Grid.

“The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory was one of the initial experiments in the GriPhyN and iVDGL projects,” said Albert Lazzarini, a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the OSG Interim Executive Board. “LIGO is now working within the OSG forum to continue to expand and deploy its use of grid technologies that enable large-scale production and analysis of science data.”

The OSG includes both an Integration and a Production Grid. The Integration Grid is where new grid technologies and applications are tested, while the Production Grid provides a stable, fully supported environment for sustained applications. Operations and support for users and developers are key components of both grids.

“Grid operations was critical to the success of Grid3, and will be for the OSG as well,” said Doug Pearson, a member of the OSG Council from the iVDGL Grid Operations Center at Indiana University. “There is a distributed model of support for OSG users with a grid operations center that glues together support from all the member organizations.”

Software used by the OSG is based on the NSF Middleware Initiative distribution, which includes Condor and Globus technologies, and additional utilities packaged and supported through the Virtual Data Toolkit. Enhancements, including the integration of high-performance network services, are targeted to meet the data analysis needs of researchers around the world.

“The OSG is an exceptional experimental tool for computer scientists as well as a powerful resource for physicists, biologists, chemists and other scientists,” said computer scientist Miron Livny from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, leader of the Condor project and a member of the OSG Interim Executive Board. “This is the place where we investigate and evaluate our frameworks and software tools.”

Interoperability with other distributed computing infrastructures will be crucial for the success of Consortium members' global research projects. OSG and its partners, such as TeraGrid in the U.S. and the European project Enabling Grids for E-Science, work jointly to enable users to combine resources from different infrastructures. The OSG Integration Grid currently includes sites in Asia and South America, which further aid efforts to interact successfully with activities on other continents.

“For the LHC experiments, the OSG will be part of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid,” said Ruth Pordes, grid coordinator in the Computing Division at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, member of the LHC experiment CMS and a leader of the Particle Physics Data Grid project. “Scientists will be able to easily access their data and run their jobs across grid infrastructures in many different countries.”

To learn more about the Open Science Grid Consortium and how to participate, please visit the Open Science Grid Web site at http://www.opensciencegrid.org.