Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chasing Science as a Service

Texas Advanced Computing Center
(07/18/12) Aaron Dubrow

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has developed the A Grid and Virtualized Environment (AGAVE) advanced programming interface (API), which aims to extend the U.S.'s advanced computing resources to a much larger audience. "When services have been built to that level, research starts moving really fast," says TACC's Rion Dooley. "You can start leveraging manpower and focus exclusively on the science rather than the computation and technology needed to accomplish that science." Dooley says AGAVE is a flexible, Web-friendly platform that enables researchers with little programming experience to add functionality to their scientific computing software. "If we can give thousands of researchers a few percent of their time back, that's a win," he says. AGAVE also gives developers access to some of the U.S.'s most powerful supercomputers to facilitate their research. For example, AGAVE is being used as part of the iPlant project, leveraging supercomputing resources at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, the San Diego Supercomputing Center, and TACC. The second major release of the AGAVE API will include support for new types of systems, such as public and private clouds, that will give users faster turnaround times on their experiments.

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