Press Archive

PACI Grid Portal Lets Computational Science Community Access High-Performance Computing Resources Across the Country

Published 11/07/2000

David Hart, SDSC/NPACI, 858-534-8314, Karen Green,
NCSA/Alliance, 217-265-0748, Sean Fulton, PSC,

The National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), the National Computational Science Alliance, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) have announced the formation of an integrated grid portal to provide computational scientists who use National Science Foundation-supported resources with access to and dynamic information about the high-end systems on the emerging grid.

A prototype of the grid portal will be demonstrated by both NPACI and the Alliance at SC2000, November 4-10 in Dallas, Texas. Researchers with allocations through the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) will be able to access any resources on which they have an account with a single login to a shared PACI-wide secure environment. More information for interested researchers is available on the portal Web site (

"The collaboration efforts mean that computational scientists will have access to machines supported by NPACI, the Alliance, PSC, and NASA, provided that they have accounts," said Richard Hilderbrandt, program director for the National Science Foundation's PACI program. "The complementary efforts of the PACI partnerships have made the PACI Grid Portal a reality."

This portal integrates additional contributed technologies into the NPACI HotPage and extends access to include computational resources from the Alliance and PSC, as well as those from the NASA Information Power Grid (IPG). Representatives from NPACI, the Alliance, and NASA IPG have conducted a series of workshops targeting specific technologies and resources to include in the effort to demonstrate computational science portals using the high-end systems made available by each organization.

Currently the portal uses GridPort and the CA Client from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), Globus and the Grid Index Information Service from the Globus Project, and the community-supported Grid Security Infrastructure. In addition, for authentication, the portal uses MyProxy, which is the result of collaboration between the Alliance, NPACI, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), which has led the MyProxy development.

"This portal integrates many leading-edge grid technologies being developed by the PACI program," said Mary Thomas, manager of the Computational Science Portals group at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). "Through continued collaboration, future releases of the portal will integrate additional PACI technologies, such as the Network Weather Service and the SDSC Storage Resource Broker."

The objective of the portal is to provide Web access to high-end resources. NPACI resources include systems at SDSC, the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, and Caltech. Alliance resources include systems at NCSA, Boston University, the University of New Mexico, the Maui High Performance Computing Center, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Kentucky. PSC systems include the terascale system now being brought online. NASA IPG will be grid-enabling systems at its Ames, Glenn, and Langley research centers.

The National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI) unites 46 universities and research institutions to build the computational environment for tomorrow's scientific discovery. Led by UC San Diego and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), NPACI is funded by the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program and receives additional support from the State and University of California, other government agencies, and partner institutions. The NSF
PACI program also supports the National Computational Science Alliance. For additional information about SDSC and NPACI, see or contact David Hart,, 858-534-8314.

The National Computational Science Alliance is a partnership to prototype an advanced computational infrastructure for the 21st century and includes more than 50 academic, government and industry research partners from across the United States. The Alliance is one of two partnerships funded by the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program, and receives cost-sharing at partner institutions. NSF also supports the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), led by the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.