SGVO Cloud Options Working Group

Project Details

Project Lead
Alan Sill 
Project Manager
Dong Jeong 
Project Members
Amit Kumar, Dong Jeong, Adetunji Anthony Adeleke, Soheil Mazaheri  
Supporting Experts
Gregor von Laszewski, Javier Diaz Montes  
Institution
Texas Tech University, High Performance Computing Center  
Discipline
Computer Science (401) 
Subdiscipline
11.07 Computer Science 

Abstract

SURAgrid is an initiative of SURA members. A SURAgrid working group is exploring cloud options. One aspect of this is using cloud resources to test software installs. For instance, in July 2011, the Open Science Grid client stack was installed on a Virtual Computing Lab image. The results suggested value in being able to test installation documentation as well as in discovering technical problems that would need to be addressed for correct operation of OSG client software from virtual resources. FutureGrid would provide a cloud based environment for continuing this line of investigation.

Intellectual Merit

Using cloud resources as a way to instantiate a virtual client submit gateway is of interest. While this appears straightforward, this is not just an exercise in implementation. Technical issues include establishing user certificates for a virtual resource, addressing how IP addresses are associated with a virtual resource (that may vary which each instance of the virtual image), and specific documentation changes (where currently the documentation expects the platform is a fixed, physical resource.)

Broader Impacts

Providing cloud based resources for this testing of installation steps, functionality and associate documentation can potentially open the doors to a wider community of contributers who otherwise may not have physical resources to dedicate to such activity. Access to physical resources may be constrained due to funding, system administration bandwidth ("We don't have time to stand up a physical server"), or skill level ("We don't have needed skill and/or cycles to stand up a test environment.") Experience with the Virtual Computing Lab indicates that by providing access to cloud based images, "end user" type persons (students, staff or faculty) can in fact contribute meaningfully: discovering documentation errors, ferreting out areas of technical enhancement, and enhancing their own understanding/skill with technology.

Scale of Use

A few VMs for experimental use. Light usage over a period of several months at which time our SURAgrid Cloud Options Working Group will evaluate progress and determine what, if any, continued use is appropriate.

Results

Pending project request approval, we would expect to provide ongoing communication as to progress.