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NEWT: A RESTful service for building High Performance Computing web applications

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3 Author(s)
Cholia, S. ; Lawrence Berkeley Nat. Lab., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Skinner, David ; Boverhof, J.

The NERSC Web Toolkit (NEWT) brings High Performance Computing (HPC) to the web through easy to write web applications. Our work seeks to make HPC resources more accessible and useful to scientists who are more comfortable with the web than they are with command line interfaces. The effort required to get a fully functioning web application is decreasing, thanks to Web 2.0 standards and protocols such as AJAX, HTML5, JSON and REST. We believe HPC can speak the same language as the web, by leveraging these technologies to interface with existing grid technologies. NEWT presents computational and data resources through simple transactions against URIs. In this paper we describe our approach to building web applications for science using a RESTful web service. We present the NEWT web service and describe how it can be used to access HPC resources in a web browser environment using AJAX and JSON. We discuss our REST API for NEWT, and address specific challenges in integrating a heterogeneous collection of backend resources under a single web service. We provide examples of client side applications that leverage NEWT to access resources directly in the web browser. The goal of this effort is to create a model whereby HPC becomes easily accessible through the web, allowing users to interact with their scientific computing, data and applications entirely through such web interfaces.

Published in:

Gateway Computing Environments Workshop (GCE), 2010

Date of Conference:

14-14 Nov. 2010

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