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Practical Considerations in Cloud Utilization for the Science Gateway nanoHUB.org

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7 Author(s)
Lynn K. Zentner ; Birck Nanotechnol. Center, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA ; Steven M. Clark ; Preston M. Smith ; Swaroop Shivarajapura
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nanoHUB.org is arguably the largest online nanotechnology user facility in the world. Just between July 2010 and June 2011 it served 177,823 users. 10,477 users ran 393,648 simulation jobs on a variety of computational resources ranging from HUB zero-based virtual execution hosts for rapid, interactive runs as well as grid-based resources for computationally-intense runs. We believe that as such our users experience a fully operational scientific "cloud"-based infrastructure even though it is not using "standard" computational cloud infrastructures such as EC2. In this paper we explore the use of standard computational cloud-based resources to determine whether they can deliver satisfactory outcomes for our users without requiring high personnel costs for configuration. In a science gateway environment, the assignment of jobs to the appropriate computational resource is not trivial. Resource availability, wait time, time to completion, and likelihood of job success must all be considered in order to transparently deliver an acceptable level of service to our users. In this paper, we present preliminary results examining the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing standard computational cloud resources as one potential venue for nano HUB computational runs. In summary we find that cloud resources performed competitively with other grid resources in terms of wait time, CPU usage, and success in a multiple job submission strategy.

Published in:

Utility and Cloud Computing (UCC), 2011 Fourth IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-8 Dec. 2011