Press Archive

SDSC and NPACI Solutions Shine at SC2003

Published 11/24/2003

The presence of SDSC and NPACI researchers was felt throughout SC2003. In addition to a broad range of leading-edge demos and presentations in the SDSC booth (see, SDSC and NPACI projects were widely represented in demos and exhibits hosted by collaborating institutions. True to its name, the NPACI partnership is reflected in numerous collaborations that are developing the cyberinfrastructure to power tomorrow's science.

In a conference highlight, the SDSC/NPACI Rocks cluster team assembled, installed from scratch, and demonstrated real scientific applications on a top-200 class supercomputer cluster in a matter of two hours on Monday, November 17.

NPACI Rocks demos or information were also displayed in the Mellanox Technologies booth, makers of Infiniband switch systems; the ProMicro Systems booth, providers of HPC solutions, clusters, servers, and storage; the Intel booth, and the Dell, Inc. booth. The rapid adoption of Rocks beyond NPACI reflects the growing maturity of the product and highlights the effectiveness of NPACI in providing user-friendly solutions to real scientific problems. More information on NPACI Rocks is available at

Another robust SDSC/NPACI technology, the SDSC Storage Resource Broker (SRB), was also demonstrated or included in the research of several organizations exhibiting at SC2003. The SDSC SRB, mature client-server data management middleware, provides a uniform interface for connecting to heterogeneous data resources over a network. With more than 3,000 users at over 50 institutions, the SRB is a good example of SDSC and NPACI infrastructure that solves pressing data management problems in today's scientific research.

The Particle Physics booth, a joint exhibit of America's principal high-energy physics facilities, FermiLab and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), featured a real-time presentation of production data movement using the SRB in the BaBar high energy physics project. The SRB has been adopted for production use in this experiment, where it is being used to manage and move multiple terabytes of data at sites around the world. SLAC researchers had positive comments about the SRB, including the SRB-chat for community support and development of this powerful middleware product.

Another project that uses the SRB, the NASA Information Power Grid (IPG), exhibited an advanced data mining application at SC03. This application has made use of the SRB to federate large data sets in both Ohio and California, supporting data mining to detect intense convective events, or storms, on a global scale. A day's worth of satellite data - more than 200 MB - covering a majority of the earth's surface in tropical zones, can be mined to detect storms in about 10 minutes.

SRB technology was also demonstrated or displayed in many other projects at SC2003, including the NIH Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) project, the NSF National Virtual Observatory (NVO) project, and the NSF Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA) project, in both SDSC's booth as well as other exhibits.