ARCHIVED: Project: XSEDE 2.0 (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment - Renewal)

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Primary UITS contact: Craig Stewart (Subcontract PI), Therese Miller (Project Manager)

Last update: December 1, 2017


The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) is the most advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services in the world. It is a single virtual system that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise.

Scientists and engineers around the world use these resources and services (e.g., supercomputers, data collections, and new tools) to make our lives healthier, safer, and better. XSEDE, and the experts who lead the program, will make these resources easier to use and help more people use them. XSEDE 2.0 is a five-year renewal grant that succeeds the initial XSEDE five-year grant.

Indiana University is a key partner in XSEDE and is funded to deliver services as part of XSEDE via a subcontract from NCSA.

For more about XSEDE, see the project website.

Milestones and status:

  • XCRI Toolkit updates:
    • Changes/improvements to XCBC from SRU build: three updates (IPMI functionality, bug fixes, and SLURM power management)
    • Added ipmitool options; corrected a few minor spelling tweaks; found a bug in how some key copying happens
    • Improved SLURM configuration to include power management (shuts down nodes when not used)
  • Major updates to the Jetstream cluster (this was almost a complete rewrite from scratch):
    • Converted from being mostly Ansible to launching an image, cloning a repo, running a script (the ultimate goal is to have a launchable image)
    • Fully elasticized now; quicker deployment, as well; much faster than the Ansible setup
  • Improvements to the Cluster Monitoring toolkit: one update (improved Ganglia configuration); have TODOs for XDMoD, but not created yet
  • Collected 2017 August-October IPR Metrics Assembly from XCRI:
    Systems using XCRI toolkits: 185 new XSEDE Globus users
    Repository subscribers: 103
    Partnership interactions: 5
    Toolkit updates: 5 updates to RPMs
    New toolkits: 1
    Aggregate TFLOPS: 752 (+10 from SRU)
    User satisfaction: 5.0
  • Collected 2017 March-July IPR Metrics Assembly from XCRI:
    Systems using XCRI toolkits: 161 new XSEDE Globus users
    Repository subscribers: 102 (no change in the number of XNIT downloads; 2 new XCBC users: Wayne State and SDSU)
    Partnership interactions: 10
    Toolkit updates: 12 updates to RPMs
    New toolkits: 0
    Aggregate TFLOPS: 742 (+10 from SDSU)
    User satisfaction: 4.31
  • August 2017: Highlights from the yearly review include the following:
    • XSEDE is supporting 15,000 researchers annually via direct allocations and science gateways.
    • More than 13,000 unique individuals have accessed direct allocations to date; more than 5,400 of these are women or racial/ethnic minorities.
    • More than 21,000 publications have been supported to date, with high citation rates.
    • XSEDE is supporting approximately 9,000 researchers without allocations; these researchers access services via the XSEDE User Portal.
    • More than 44,000 enrollments were collected for XSEDE trainings to date.
    • Overall satisfaction with XSEDE remains extremely high (4.28/5 on the survey).
  • July 2017: UITS Research Technologies was well represented at the PEARC17 conference in New Orleans, LA, with 12 tutorials, paper sessions, and Birds-of-a-Feather meetings in which IU staff were either the leaders or key participants/authors. Multiple sessions involving science gateways in various capacities, and several in which Jetstream was a key point, were offered. Other notable areas included Value Analytics using XDMoD (ARCHIVED: XDMoD-VA) and the Community Software Repository (CSR)
  • June 2017: The XCRI team restructured the XSEDE Compatible Basic Cluster (XCBC) toolkit to use OpenHPC as its base.
  • May 2017: As the process of retiring the Quarry Gateway Web Services Hosting System began, the UITS Research Technologies High Performance Systems (HPS) group, with its newly-hired XSEDE Systems Engineer, launched a project for migrating active hosts to Jetstream. UITS expects to decommission the Quarry gateway hosting system by the end of summer 2017.
  • April 2017: Although no new capabilities were deployed during the first two reporting periods, XCI expects to reach 2/3 of its annual target (7) by the end of PY6. The first-year annual targets were based on a full calendar year because they were set before the reporting schedule was known and finalized. The satisfaction metric is on pace to meet or exceed the annual target.
  • March 2017: The new XSEDE EMPOWER (Expert Mentoring Producing Opportunities for Work, Education, and Research) program was launched to engage undergraduate students in all aspects of XSEDE's work. In previous years, most student outreach focused only on research; this year, students are paired with mentors from the XSEDE community and involved in all aspects of XSEDE, including research, applications support, systems administration, education, visualization, outreach, training, and other activities that support XSEDE's mission. The program emphasizes participation from students who are new to XSEDE, and seeks to engage a high percentage of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. The program provides stipends to students who participate as "learners", "apprentices", or "interns", depending on their skill levels and prior experience with project tasks. The program calls on members of the XSEDE community to serve as mentors, and provides project guidance and (when applicable) training plans. Training support is provided also by the Shodor Education Foundation, which facilitates program recruitment, selection, and stipend disbursal (via funds from XSEDE).
  • The I-TASSER (Iterative Threading ASSEmbly Refinement) science gateway, developed by researchers at the Zhang Lab at the University of Michigan Medical School, supported more than 6,000 new users running on Comet since its launch in October 2016. XSEDE's well-defined processes and infrastructure for supporting gateways helped the group get going inside a month.

  • February 2017: ESSGW continued progress toward its annual metrics. ESSGW completed seven projects over the first two quarters (only three more completed projects are needed to reach the annual target). Impact and satisfaction ratings remain above quarterly targets. User counts (particularly those related to the I-TASSER gateway) increased significantly during the quarter. ESSGW continued updating and simplifying the XSEDE "Gateways for PIs" and "Gateways for Developers" web pages. Area focuses for the next quarter include recruiting new science gateway clients to replace expiring projects, revising and updating science gateway information on the XSEDE website, and working with ESTEO on new science gateway outreach and training materials.
  • XCRI staff completed a set of configurations in Jetstream for letting users try out toolkits the group provides and for setting up persistent cluster resources in the research cloud.

    During the week of January 16, 2017, IU hosted Campus Champion Fellow Francesco Pontiggia, and held several meetings with XSEDE and IU staff about identity and attribute management for campus cyberinfrastructure users.

  • January 2017: XCI delivered the new Community Software Repository (CSR), enabling the broader XSEDE community to share and discover software information, and to facilitate integration of new software into the XSEDE ecosystem.
  • Extended Support for Science Gateways (ESSGW) made solid progress on its area metrics and is expected to meet yearly targets. Area focuses for next quarter are to recruit new science gateway clients to replace expiring projects, revise and update XSEDE website content pertaining to science gateways, and work with ESTEO on new science gateway outreach and training materials.

  • October-December 2016: Organization continued under XSEDE 2.0.
  • In November, XCRI staff at the SC16 conference participated in several meetings with CI providers, including ACI-REF representatives, CalIT2 staff, Campus Champions Fellows, potential site visit organizers at Slippery Rock University, and Dell.

  • September 2016: The XSEDE 2.0 project officially began on September 1.
  • August 2016: The initial XSEDE 2.0 project document was placed.

XCI reporting: Metrics supporting the "Create an open and evolving e-infrastructure" sub-goal within XSEDE's second of three strategic goals, "Advance the Ecosystem", in accordance with section 2.2.1 of XSEDE's high-level work breakdown structure (WBS):

Area metrics Targets July-
August 2016
October 2016
Number of systems that use one or more XCRI toolkits 450 377
Number of Level 1 systems that fully incorporate all the recommended tools from the XSEDE Community Repository 5 7/7 6/6
Number of repository subscribers to XCRI cluster and laptop toolkits 150 2
Aggregate number of teraFLOPS from cluster systems using XCRI toolkits 1,000 100
Number of partnership interactions between XCRI and SPs, national CI organizations, and campus CI providers 12 2 1 (EGI) + 4 (unallocated SP contacts) + 6 SP checklist coordination meetings

XSEDE Functional Areas of engagement:

  • Extended Collaborative Support Services (ECSS)
    • Novel & Innovative Projects (NIP)
      • Work with new individuals and communities to understand XSEDE capabilities
      • Identify novel and innovative gateway opportunities
      • Serve as domain champion for computational chemistry, material science
    • Extended Support for Scientific Gateways (ESSG)
      • Manage ESSG Activities, report to L2 management, lead outreach activities, coordinate with other XSEDE areas (Marlon Pierce)
      • Consult for individual gateway efforts
      • Engage in outreach to new communities
      • Participate as needed in other areas of XSEDE
      • Participate in XSEDE-sponsored conferences
    • Extended Support for Education, Outreach & Training (ESTEO)
      • Identify gateways to support training and outreach efforts
      • Develop training materials and training use cases within IU-run gateways (GridChem/SEAGrid, PGA)
  • XSEDE Community Infrastructure (XCI)
    • Director's Office (Craig Stewart, Deputy Director)
      • Attend meetings, give talks, prepare reports, and take part in XCI management, as directed by L2 Manager and XSEDE 2.0 Senior manager
      • Within XCI take a particular leadership role in engagement with the national CI provider community
      • Lead overall XSEDE 2.0 efforts in analyzing and expressing the Return on Investment of XSEDE 2.0
    • XSEDE Capability & Resource Integration (XCRI)
      • Manage XCRI tasks, reporting, outreach activities (Rich Knepper)
      • Maintain gateway hosting service, compile and disseminate reports of SaaS service use including Globus Transfer, Science Gateways, and XSEDE KB
      • Cluster and software tool integration, investigation of new software, site visits
      • Documentation and outreach materials for XCI
  • XSEDE Operations
    • Systems Operational Support
      • Do testing on behalf of Operations on Jetstream, Wrangler, and other XD ecosystem resources
  • XSEDE Program Office
    • Strategic Planning, Policy & Evaluation
      • Lead the effort to conduct the annual XSEDE User Survey
      • Work with User Engagement, XSEDE management, and service providers to craft, distribute, mine, and interpret surveys as determined by the manager for user engagement
      • Implement portal-based micro-surveys and targeted, resource-specific surveys in coordination with feedback campaigns as requested by service owners and project leadership

Outcomes: Participation in the XSEDE 2.0 project aids achievement of the following recommendations and action items set forth in IU's comprehensive strategic plan for information technology, Empowering People:

  • Recommendation 1
    • Action 4: Cyberinfrastructure
      IU should continue to advance its local cyberinfrastructure, participation in national cyberinfrastructure, and its efforts to win federal funding of cyberinfrastructure programs that enhance IU's research capabilities.
    • Action 5: Philosophy of abundance
      IU should pursue strategies that approximate a philosophy of abundance, within reason, towards unmetered availability of basic IT services, support, and infrastructure for creative activity, storage, computation, communication, and other activities fundamental to the work of the university via any appropriate sourcing strategy.
      • Participation in XSEDE creates local expertise that allows UITS to aid IU researchers in writing high-quality proposals, thus enabling a local abundance of supercomputing resources by adding availability of XSEDE supercomputers to IU systems such as Big Red II and Karst.
    • Action 6: Leveraging partnerships
      IU should continue its highly successful program of relationships with hardware, software, and services vendors, and seek additional partnerships and creative exchanges that provide mutual benefits.
      • Participation in XSEDE identifies IU as among a very small number of key leaders in the US cyberinfrastructure community and aids our partnerships with vendors.
  • Recommendation 2
    • Action 9: Network partnerships
      IU should continue to pursue opportunities for strategic partnerships that can provide services for advanced networks to further the missions of the university.
      • Through XSEDE, IU obtains funding for services delivered via the Global NOC.
  • Recommendation 4
    • Action 16: External funding
      OVPIT should continue to lead and expand its efforts to effectively partner with academic units, campuses, administrative units, or individual investigators for external funding opportunities.
  • Recommendation 7
    • Action 24: World-class IT staff
      IU should remain competitive with regard to compensation, benefits, facilities, workplace climate, and quality of life offerings through funding choices to attract, develop, and retain the very best technical and professional staff.
      • Five of UITS' world-class staff are funded by the XSEDE sub-award.
    • Action 25: Research into IT
      IU should support and pursue research into information technology itself. IT Professionals and faculty should seek partnership opportunities for scholarly publication and invention disclosure that document meritorious research and discovery.
      • One of the aspects of IU's involvement in XSEDE is research and development of new IT facilities based on leadership and innovation of the staff of the UITS Research Technologies Division.
  • Recommendation 8
    • Action 27: Human-centered support
      IU should continue to pioneer and provision effective means of user support through advanced tools for self-service and connection to IU experts to help faculty, staff, and students effectively use IT. IU should continue its work as a support infrastructure provider for national research projects and services.
      • IU's XSEDE sub-award funds the Support Division to do what is proposed in this Action.
  • Recommendation 15
    • Action 70: IT-enabled research
      IU should purposefully select areas of great and timely promise for strategic development of IT-enabled research, scholarship, and/or creative activity.
    • Action 71: IT-enabled research resources
      IU should identify a base of resources to provide both initial and sustained investments in selected areas for IT-enabled research, scholarship, and/or creative activity. This may include reallocating current resources and developing new ones, including endowments, grants, and/or additional fees.

Project team: All UITS Research Technologies staff are involved directly or indirectly in the XSEDE project.


  • John Towns, Executive Director for Science and Technology at NCSA, XSEDE 2.0 Principal Investigator and Project Director
  • Craig Stewart, Associate Dean of Research Technologies and Executive Director of the IU Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI), local PI on IU's XSEDE 2.0 sub-award
  • Therese Miller, Program Director of UITS Research Technologies Collaboration and Engagement Support and Interoperability, project manager for IU's participation in XSEDE 2.0

This is document amso in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 17:37:31.

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