Data Intensive Grid Computing on Active Storage Clusters
PI: Douglas Thain. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant CNS-06-43229.
Distributed computing has traditionally focused on managing
the computation needs of large scale science. However, as
CPUs outpace storage and networking technologies, managing
the data required by scientific applications is becoming
more and more critical. Traditional abstractions such as
filesystems have not proven to be sufficient for these needs.
Instead, new mechanisms and algorithms are needed to ensure
that computation and data are partitioned and performed in
an efficient manner.
Foundation: The Tactical Storage System
In order to execute data intensive applications, we must have
a software foundation that allows us to harness and access storage
and computing in a coordinated manner.
This software is called the
tactical storage system (TSS).
Deployed on a large network of machines [catalog - visual] at the University of Notre Dame, the TSS allows ordinary users to construct and employ
complex storage structures such as filesystems and databases, share
them with external users via fine-grained security policies and a decentralized group system, manage local space
through an allocation mechanism., and securely execute code close to data using a technique called
Techniques for Computing on Distributed Storage
Given the ability to store and access data on a large number of disks
in a cluster, we can begin to view scientific computation and data analysis in a new way.
This simplest is just to view a cluster as a large, endlessly expandable storage device.
For example, the GRAND astrophysics experiment at Notre Dame employs tactical storage to build a high-capacity filesystem on a cluster
of commodity machines. By employing parallel disks, we have improved the
throughput of data processing by several orders of magnitude. As more capacity
or thoughput is needed, the software can be instructed to harness additional
cluster nodes, regardless of their hardware or location.
A more complex example is to use multiple storage devices and protocols
distributed across the wide area. Many scientific codes employ a common
set of large datasets that are impractical for every user to replicate.
However, given a replication location service, multiple codes can access
the same copy of data. Our software permits users to harness distributed
copies, regardless of their location or storage prototocol, without changing
the underlying application. This approach has been used by
the IBCP bioinformatics group at the University of Lyon,
high energy physics experiment at Fermi National Lab, and the BaBar experiment at CERN.
An unconventional view is to consider a cluster as a database facility for both generating,
tracking, and post-processing simulations.
distributed database for molecular dynamics simulation uses
a simulation database as an index into distributed storage.
This allows the end user to submit simulation queries which are then
either computed or returned as needed. Local storage and computation
are employed to minimize network computation. A functional programming
style is used to name and access computation and data easily.
(Showing papers with tag filesystems. See all papers instead.)
Jakob Blomer, Predrag Buncic, Rene Meusel, Gerardo Ganis, Igor Sfiligoi and Douglas Thain,
The Evolution of Global Scale Filesystems for Scientific Software Distribution,
IEEE/AIP Computing in Science and Engineering, 17(6), pages 61-71, December, 2015. DOI: 10.1109/MCSE.2015.111
Douglas Thain, Michael Albrecht, Hoang Bui, Peter Bui, Rory Carmichael, Scott Emrich, and Patrick Flynn,
Data Intensive Computing with Clustered Chirp Servers,
Tevfik Kosar, Data Intensive Distributed Computing: Challenges and Solutions for Large Scale Information Management, pages 140-154, IGI, January, 2012. ISBN: 9781615209712
Hoang Bui, Michael Kelly, Christopher Lyon, Mark Pasquier, Deborah Thomas, Patrick Flynn, and Douglas Thain,
Experience with BXGrid: A Data Repository and Computing Grid for Biometrics Research,
Journal of Cluster Computing, 12(4), pages 373, April, 2009. DOI: 10.1007/s10586-009-0098-7
Sander Klous, Jamie Frey, Se-Chang Son, Douglas Thain, Alain Roy, Miron Livny, and Jo van den Brand,
Transparent Access to Grid Resources for User Software,
Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, 18(7), pages 787-801, June, 2006. DOI: 10.1002/cpe.961
Stefano Belforte, Matthew Normal, Subir Sarkar, Ifor Sfiligoi, Douglas Thain, Frank Wuerthwein,
Using Condor Glide-Ins and Parrot to Move from Dedicated Resources to the Grid,
Lecture Notes in Informatics, 81, pages 285-292, March, 2006.
Douglas Thain, Sander Klous, Justin Wozniak, Paul Brenner, Aaron Striegel, and Jesus Izaguirre,
Separating Abstractions from Resources in a Tactical Storage System,
IEEE/ACM Supercomputing, pages 55-67, November, 2005. DOI: 10.1109/SC.2005.64