ARCC National Perspective Panel: XSEDE (Towns)


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ARCC National Perspective Panel: XSEDE (Towns)

  1. 1. March 17, 2014 Research Computing on Campuses: National Perspectives Panel John Towns PI and Project Director, XSEDE Director, Collaborative Cyberinfrastructure Programs, NCSA
  2. 2. License terms • Please cite as: Towns, John. 2014. Research Computing on Campuses: National Perspectives Panel Presentation. Advancing Research Computing on Campuses: Best Practices Workshop, Jan 16-17, 2015, Urbana, IL. • ORCID ID: • Except where otherwise noted, by inclusion of a source URL or some other note, the contents of this presentation are © by the Board of Trustees of University of Illinois. This content is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license ( This license includes the following terms: You are free to share – copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format; and to adapt – remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. • This can be done under the following conditions: attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  3. 3. Who is this guy? • John Towns – PI and Project Director of XSEDE – Director, Collaborative eScience Program Office at NCSA – Co-Founder, Illinois Campus Cluster Program • Background – just a mid-western boy from Missouri • I don’t see a lot of folks from Missouri in the circles I am in – failed physicist • general relativity – failed computational scientist • numerical simulation of black hole spacetimes – failed networked applications guy • NLANR-DAST: National Laboratory for Applied Network Research- Distributed Applications Support Team – budding social engineer • Wearing my XSEDE hat for this discussion 3
  4. 4. XSEDE – accelerating scientific discovery • XSEDE’s Vision: a world of digitally enabled researchers, engineers, and scholars participating in multidisciplinary collaborations to tackle society’s grand challenges • XSEDE’s Mission: to substantially enhance the productivity of a growing community of researchers, engineers, and scholars through access to advanced digital services that support open research; and to coordinate and add significant value to the leading cyberinfrastructure resources funded by the NSF and other agencies 4
  5. 5. XSEDE’s Strategic Goals • Deepen and extend the use of the advanced digital research services ecosystem – deepen use by existing researchers, engineers, and scholars – extend use to new communities – prepare the current and next generation via education, training, and outreach – raise the general awareness of the value of advanced digital services • Advance the advanced digital research services ecosystem – create an open and evolving e-infrastructure – enhance the array of technical expertise and support services offered • Sustain the advanced digital research services ecosystem – assure and maintain a reliable and secure infrastructure – provide excellent user support services – operate an effective and innovative virtual organization 5
  6. 6. What is XSEDE? • An ecosystem of advanced digital services accelerating scientific discovery – support a growing portfolio of resources and services • advanced computing, high-end visualization, data analysis, and other resources and services • interoperability with other infrastructures • A virtual organization providing – dynamic distributed infrastructure – support services, and technical expertise to enable researchers engineers and scholars • addressing the most important and challenging problems facing the nation and world • A project funded by the National Science Foundation 6
  7. 7. Discuss a particularly challenging/thorny issue… (campus cluster relevant) Campus Bridging • How do we facilitate campus bridging? – integrating campus researchers and resources into the national cyberinfrastructure ecosystem • Multi-pronged approach – Campus Champions • local source of knowledge about HPC/HTC and other digital services, opportunities and resources • empowers campus researchers, educators, and students to advance scientific discovery – Campus Bridging • lower the barriers to utilization of XSEDE resources by researchers and to disseminate the best practices of XSEDE resources to campus IT staff – Service Providers (SP) Forum • a forum for open and inclusive discussion of topics of interest to the SP community • a formal communication channel between the Forum members and XSEDE 7
  8. 8. Describe your top unsolved challenge… Articulating the value of XSEDE to stakeholders • Stakeholders – funding agency: NSF – community we support: researchers, scholars and engineers – our partners: Service Providers, other infrastructure providers, collaborators in technology development,… – administration at our respective institutions – ourselves: XSEDE staff • Requires clear metrics of success – How do you clearly and succinctly relate science impact when you don’t do any science? – How do you clearly and succinctly relate societal impact to “Joe Six-Pack?” 8
  9. 9. Describe your top funding problem… Sustainability of Funding • XSEDE in year 3 of 5 year project – Can we secure an additional 5 years of funding? • How do we sustain after 10 years? – Can we avoid disruptive nature of re-compete while still deriving best value? – Will NSF even continue to fund such an activity? • Is NSF definition of “sustainable” that they no longer fund it? 9
  10. 10. How would you spend $1B (US/CAD) to dramatically improve our national CI? Multiple Efforts! (some of what I would do…) • Co-invest with campuses to develop campus CI: $200M – ??% match from campuses; must integrate with national CI – 2-3 rounds of awards running 3-5 years • Establish a national data infrastructure: $250M – needs to compliment the national computing infrastructure – 2-3 rounds of awards running 3-5 years • Workforce development: $40M – expand current and grow new programs to develop CI-savvy • researchers: grad student, postdocs, research scientists, faculty, … • technical staff: systems admins, network engineers, applications support staff, … – 2-3 rounds of awards running 3-5 years • Develop new leadership in our community: $10M – establish programs to develop leadership • center directors, facility mangers, large scale project leads do not have these – 2-3 rounds of awards running 3-5 years • Sustain this! $500M – investment fund to generate ongoing funds for sustaining/expanding these efforts 10
  11. 11. Questions?