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NCSA Blue Waters Project Selects Globus Online for Data Movement

Software as a Service (SaaS) Will Be File Transfer Solution For All Blue Waters Users

The Globus Online team announced today that the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has chosen Globus Online as the data movement solution for the Blue Waters supercomputer, which will be used by researchers across the country.

A secure, reliable service for high-performance file transfer, Globus Online will be used by Blue Waters users, both for remote file transfer into and out of the system and in some cases for movement of files within Blue Waters between its archival mass storage system and its high-speed parallel file system.

“We want our users to be able to quickly and easily move their data wherever they need it,” said Michelle Butler, NCSA technical program manager. “That’s why we are working with Globus Online to provide transfer capabilities among Blue Waters resources and between our resources and external facilities.”

“We are thrilled to be a foundational service for such an important project,” said Ian Foster, Globus Online co-founder and Director of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. “Blue Waters scientists will be performing some of the most important research of this century, and it’s our honor to improve the speed and ease of their work by supplying simplified, powerful data movement services.”

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Blue Waters project will deliver a supercomputer capable of sustained performance of more than 1 petaflop (one quadrillion calculations per second, a metric reserved for only the fastest computers on the planet). Blue Waters is expected to be one of the world's most powerful supercomputers and will be used by researchers in nearly all scientific fields to pursue breakthroughs not possible on less powerful systems.

When Blue Waters launches its early science system for users in early 2012, Globus Online will be used to implement the file transfer portal the scientists use to manage data movement. “Users will see a Blue Waters portal, but the technology behind the scenes will be Globus Online,” said Foster. “Moving large datasets will be a streamlined process for scientists, who don’t want to have to spend time learning complex scripts or monitoring their transfers for successful completion.”

Globus Online is a cloud-hosted service for fast, reliable data movement. The easy-to-use service automates the management of file transfers and offers both a web interface and command line interface for file transfer, as well as a REST API for easy integration with existing systems.

Globus Online leverages GridFTP, one of the most widely used technologies for high-performance data movement. “The GridFTP file transfer protocol used by Globus Online is one of best transfer tools out there for moving huge amounts of data among distributed systems,” said Butler.

“Globus Online is a cornerstone for high-performance file transfers,” said Jason Alt, NCSA senior software engineer. “With Globus Online, Blue Waters can offer users all the performance, security and robustness provided by GridFTP, but without requiring users to manage the complexity typically associated with GridFTP-based tools. Globus Online will help make Blue Waters a very productive system for science.”

Butler will speak about Blue Waters and Globus Online’s role in the project in her keynote address at GlobusWORLD 2012, held April 10-12 at Argonne National Laboratory. For information about this event, visit

About Blue Waters

The National Science Foundation’s Blue Waters project will deliver a supercomputer capable of more than a sustained performance of 1 petaflop on a range of science and engineering applications, enabling researchers to create breakthroughs in nearly all fields of science. It is expected to be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world when it is fully deployed in 2012. For more information, see

About Globus Online
Globus Online is a fast, reliable file transfer service that simplifies the process of secure data movement. Recommended by HPC Centers and user communities of all kinds, Globus Online automates the mundane (but error-prone and time-consuming) activity of managing file transfers, between supercomputing facilities, cloud resources, campus clusters, lab servers, desktop and laptops. With Globus Online, robust transfer capabilities that were previously available only on expensive, special-purpose systems are now accessible to virtually anyone with an Internet connection and a laptop. Globus Online significantly reduces transfer time, with some users reporting movement of terabytes of data in hours. Globus Online is an initiative by the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, and is supported in part by funding from the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. To get started or find out more, visit

Vas Vasiliadis | Newswise Science News
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