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High-performance computing without commitment: SC2IT: A cloud computing interface that makes computational science available to non-specialists

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4 Author(s)
Jorissen, K. ; Dept. of Phys., Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA ; Johnson, W. ; Vila, F.D. ; Rehr, J.J.

Computational work is a vital part of many scientific studies. In materials science research in particular, theoretical models are often needed to understand measurements. There is currently a double barrier that keeps a broad class of researchers from using state-of-the-art materials science codes: the software typically lacks user-friendliness, and the hardware requirements can demand a significant investment, e.g. the purchase of a Beowulf cluster. Scientific Cloud Computing has the potential to remove this barrier and make computational science accessible to a wider class of scientists who are not computational specialists. We present a set of interface tools, SC2IT, that enables seamless control of virtual compute clusters in the Amazon EC2 cloud and is designed to be embedded in user-friendly Java GUIs. We present applications of our Scientific Cloud Computing method to the materials science codes FEFF9, WIEN2k, and MEEP-mpi. SC2IT and the paradigm described here are applicable to other fields of research outside materials science within current Cloud Computing capability.

Published in:

E-Science (e-Science), 2012 IEEE 8th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

8-12 Oct. 2012