The 2011 OSG Summer School, which took place June 26-30 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was a success. Over the course of the four-day event, OSG staff facilitated lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities on how to use high throughput computing systems.
“It was an awesome summer course and we are using all the stuff you all taught us,” said Javier Tabima, a biological sciences graduate student from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. “Thank you for everything! I hope I can go back to Madison for Condor Week!”
Tabima was one of 25 students in attendance – a growth of over 45% over the first year’s attendance of 17. With that growth came a new hotel and new venues for sessions, and the logistical challenges that accompany any large growth.
That’s not all that has changed. As the OSG has evolved, so has the summer school’s curriculum; for example, there was greater focus on using Glide-Ins this year. Also, the small-group hands-on sessions and optional evening work sessions were new and particularly successful.
“This year’s success demonstrates that we have a repeatable and expandable School. The students were genuinely grateful for the opportunity and excited to take their new learning back home to apply to their research," said Tim Cartwright, the chair of the School organizing committee. “Looking forward, we will continue to expand and to reach as many students as possible while maintaining the very high quality of the School. This is one way that the Open Science Grid is helping to transform science — one group of students at a time.”
Many thanks to Cartwright, the organizing committee, staff, and students who helped make this year’s summer school possible.
~ Miriam Boon
Near the end of July, CMS presented results at the 2011 Europhysics Conference on High-Energy Physics (EPS) in Grenoble, France. Using nearly an inverse femtobarn of data, the highlights include improved exclusion limits for the Higgs boson, supersymmetric quarks, and constraints on more exotic theoretical particles. We are now working with the ATLAS experiment to present combined results with refined limits for the Lepton-Photon conference in Mumbai, India this month.
We currently have recorded nearly 2.2 inverse femtobarns of data – that's more than twice the data used for the analyses presented at EPS! Despite some hiccups, the LHC continues to perform brilliantly and deliver collisions at impressive rates to our detector.
We also continue to expand our analysis operations using the GlideinWMS? factory operated by OSG; more European Grid Initiative sites are added every week. The deployment of the additional Glidein factory at OSG's Grid Operations Center should increase our reliability and scalability across the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.
~ Burt Holzman
In the June newsletter, we announced the first ever OSG Newsletter Survey.
The survey's purpose was to learn more about our readership and the newsletter's status quo so that we can make informed choices as we plan for the newsletter's future.
Our call for participants was answered by 43 respondents. Approximately 44% of participants identified themselves as site administrators, 37% as users, 24% as OSG staff, 20% as developers, 17% as affiliated via a partner organization, 12% as contributors, and 2% as program managers.
We asked participants how regularly they read the newsletter. Approximately 35% said "Always," 23.3% "Usually," 23.3% "Sometimes," 9.3% "Rarely," and 9.3% "Never."
The next question asked our participants to tell us how interested they were in several different types of articles. By far, the most popular were "Articles describing research that used OSG," and "Updates from OSG Coordinators on their areas."
As part of the survey, we invited participants to participate in a raffle for an Amazon gift card worth $25; 17 chose to participate. Congratulations to Shawn McKee? of the University of Michigan for winning the prize!
~ Miriam Boon
You have probably seen the announcements and press releases marking the start of the XSEDE project, the follow-on to the TeraGrid? Grid Infrastructure Group and Resource Provider project.
XSEDE's launch marks a new beginning for OSG as well, as we grow into our new role as an XSEDE resource provider. By partnering with XSEDE, we are expanding our role as a national provider of high throughput computing services to integrate with and contribute to the traditional and new users of the high performance computing centers.
We are in the process of working out the precise details of how we will interact with XSEDE; we are fortunate to be working directly with Kim Dillman of Purdue University, who is part of the Campus Champions and Community User Support areas of XSEDE.
The first events we've attended in our new capacity as XSEDE resource providers took place at the recent TeraGrid? 2011 conference, during which OSG representatives attended tutorials and the Campus Champions meeting. The feedback we've received is that the meetings went really well and helped advance common understanding of how different service providers might contribute. Next up is the XSEDE Service Provider Forum, for which Miron Livny will serve as the OSG representative.
XSEDE is one of a number of recently awarded projects within the NSF XD Program. In addition to working with XSEDE, OSG is exploring other XD areas where we can usefully partner and contribute. For example, we've already started discussions with the Technology Auditing XD project, and we have plans to provide information to the Technology Insertion project.
Don’t hesitate to contact Dan Fraser, Miron Livny, or Ruth Pordes directly if you have questions or ideas related to this new opportunity. And stay tuned – we'll be sure to keep our newsletter readers updated as this initiative progresses!
~ Ruth Pordes
The Clemson OSG Team. From left to right: Randy Martin, Sam Hoover, Sebastien Goasguen, Michael Moore. Image courtesy of Clemson IT.
Site name: Clemson IT Location: Clemson University, Clemson, South arolina, United States
Owner: Clemson University
VOs: Member of the Engage VO.
Used by: Engage; GLOW; HCC; nanoHUB;NEES; SBgrid; STAR VOs.
Opportunistic access: Cores not in use by Clemson users are made available to OSG for opportunistic access.
What projects are you working on at your site?
We are finishing a recent expansion of the Palmetto cluster, the computer resource available at our site. We are starting on the expansion of our existing OrangeFS? file system and plan to make it available for use by OSG.
What is the best part of collaborating with and contributing to OSG?
For an opportunistic site there will be many OSG users we'll never meet and we may not know what, if any, role our site played in the discoveries made by OSG users. The best part is simply that the OSG allows us to contribute resources that would otherwise be unused, to assist researchers we may never meet and to further research we otherwise wouldn't have been able to further.
The 2011 Open Science Grid Summer Workshop took place August 9 to 11 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
The event included the annual OSG Site Administrators workshop, this year joint with the Campus Grids and User forum; these events were followed by the CMS Tier 3 workshop. A total of 46 registrants had the opportunity to attend over 20 tutorials, more than six hours of one-on-one coaching, and on the first day, an overview on the current status of OSG.
Attendees were looking forward to hearing about the OSG migration to Community Packaging. After a review of the current status and planning road-map for the Resource Package Manager packages, site administrators had the opportunity to install and test the beta releases.
There were many successful sessions, such as the campus factory tutorial.
"The campus factory tutorial did draw a lot of interest, and Virginia Tech and Florida International University successfully set up a campus factory," said Derek Weitzel, a doctoral student studying computer science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
One attendee wrote (with regards to the campus factory tutorial), "I've submitted a couple of clusters of three simple test jobs each. They're very short and complete immediately once they start. ... This is going really well, and the workshop was highly productive for me."
Many users also appreciated the OSG breakout session, and the "talk with the experts" sessions that concluded the parallel tracks (the user track and the site administrator track). These gave them time to complete tutorials at their own pace, to fix and tune their OSG resources, to experiment with job submission to OSG, to exchange ideas with colleagues, and to ask the 12 workshop faculty members questions.
The result was several successful stories with concrete results. As in previous years, this included the installation of classic grid components such as storage elements, a compute element, and GUMS (Grid User Mapping Service), or fixing the RSV (Resource and Service Validation) probes of a site. It also included some new successes: installation of virtual machines with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) and cluster management systems; installation of campus factories or configuration to enable flocking or HTPC; enabling of HTPC on a GlideinWMS? VO front-end; and learning the ins and outs of job submission and useful troubleshooting tools.
"The CMS Tier 3 workshop had seven useful sections, including tutorials on how to submit and monitor physics analysis jobs on Tier 3 sites using the pilot/Glidein mechanism – the wave of the future for CMS," said Rob Snihur of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Many thanks to the workshop hosts at Texas Tech University, the workshop faculty, staff, and attendees, who all helped to make the workshop possible.
For more information, please visit the Indico site or the tutorial page.
~ Miriam Boon
Summer is the time when we plan for the next year's program of work for the OSG project. We are busy doing this, although this year we are focusing on finishing the rpm-based software releases before we start making specific plans for software work and new capabilities.
The summer months are also often a time of staff transitions. This past June Marcia Teckenbrock and Dave Ritchie moved on to other non-OSG responsibilities. We wish them the best and appreciate the contributions they have made to OSG communications, web and document repository management, and collecting published papers from all the OSG communities for the annual reports. Miriam Boon has transitioned, adding OSG communications to her responsibilities and reducing her time on the iSGTW e-publication. We welcome Miriam in her extended role. You will be hearing from her!
~ Ruth Pordes