Genesis II testing

Project Details

Project Lead
Andrew Grimshaw 
Project Manager
Michael Saravo 
Project Members
Sal Valente, Karolina Sarnowska-Upton, Avinash Kalyanaraman, Muhammad Yanhaona  
University of Virginia, Computer Science  
Computer Science (401) 


Genesis II is the first integrated implementation of the standards and profiles emerging from the OGF Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) Working Group [2-7]. Genesis II is a complete set of compute and data grid services for users and applications which not only follows the maxim – “by default the user should not have to think” – but is also a from-scratch implementation of the standards and profiles. Genesis II is implemented in Java, runs on Apache/Axis on Jetty, and is open-sourced under the Apache license. Genesis II is the software used in the Cross Campus Grid (XCG). The XCG is a standards-based resource sharing grid developed at the University of Virginia. The XCG is a computing and data sharing platform created and maintained jointly by researchers in the UVa Department of Computer Science and the UVa Alliance for Computational Science & Engineering (UVACSE). The XCG has been in production operation for over two years. In September 2011 the XCG will be linked into XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment), the NSF follow-on to TeraGrid. The XCG uses Genesis II. XSEDE will also use Genesis II as well as other standards-based components. Thus, the XCG will smoothly integrate with, and become a part of the larger XSEDE system when it becomes to come on-line later in 2011.

Intellectual Merit

Genesis II addresses the problem of providing high-performance, transparent access to resources (files, databases, clusters, groups, running jobs, etc.) both within and across organizational boundaries in large-scale distributed systems known as grids. Specifically we address three problems: first, how to share or “export” user controlled resources into the Grid with minimum effort while guaranteeing strong access control, second, how to provide transparent application access to resources (user controlled and NSF provided such as XSEDE) located throughout the grid, and third, how to do both of the above in a way that is secure and easy for non-computer-scientists to use.

Broader Impacts

As seen in the recent NSF Dear Colleague letter on National Cyberinfrastructure, simple, easy-to-use, secure access to resources, particularly data, regardless of location, is critical for successful research today whether in the “hard” sciences, social sciences, engineering, or the humanities. Genesis II provides such access.

Scale of Use

Large. One of the challenges is to use resources at a scale similar to those found in XSEDE - where the software will be deployed.


Genesis II scale testing is being performed in the context of the Cross-Campus Grid (XCG), which brings together resources from around Grounds as well as at FutureGrid.  The XCG provides access to a variety of heterogeneous resources (clusters of various sizes, individual parallel computers, and even a few desktop computers) through a standard interface, thus leveraging UVa’s investment in hardware and making it possible for large-scale high-throughput simulations to be run.  Genesis II, a software system developed at the University by Prof. Andrew Grimshaw of the Computer Science Department and his group, implements the XCG. Genesis II is the first integrated implementation of the standards and profiles coming out of the Open Grid Forum (the standards organization for Grids) Open Grid Service Architecture Working Group.
The XCG is used across a variety of disciplines at UVA, including Economics, Biology, Engineering, and Physics.  The services offered by the XCG provide users with faster results and greater ability to share data.  By using the XCG, a researcher can run multiple jobs tens to hundreds of times faster than would be possible with a single desktop. The XCG also shares or “exports” data. Local users and XCG users can manipulate the exported data.  Through the XCG we also participate in projects supported by the National Science Foundation’s XD (extreme digital) program for supercomputing initiatives.