March 5, 2019
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded funding to a team led by the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) for further development of Open OnDemand, an open-source software platform supporting web-based access to high-performance computing (HPC) services. The project team consists of representatives from OSC, the University of Buffalo and Virginia Tech.
A follow-up project to a 2015 NSF award (#1534949), the Open OnDemand portal already has been adopted by dozens of HPC facilities across the nation. HPC facilities provide researchers with powerful computing resources and other related services, such as large-scale high-performance storage and application software.
Open OnDemand, an open-source project based on the original OSC OnDemand, the Center’s online, single-point-of-entry application for HPC services, provides HPC centers with advanced web and graphical interface capabilities. Through OnDemand, HPC clients can upload and download files; create, edit, submit and monitor jobs; run graphical user interface applications; and connect via SSH, all through a web browser, with no client software to install and configure.
“The Open OnDemand 2.0 project (NSF #1835725) will deliver an improved open-source platform for HPC, cloud and remote computing access,” says David Hudak, Ph.D., executive director of OSC. “Additionally, interaction with a growing user base has generated requests for new technical capabilities and more engagements with the science community to extend this platform and deepen its science impact.”
“Open OnDemand represents everything we are working toward: accessible and approachable compute for the next wave of HPC users,” says Robert Settlage, Ph.D., computational and data scientist in Advanced Research Computing (ARC) at Virginia Tech. “Our goal in ARC is simple—enable the end users. In a single stroke, Open OnDemand simplifies access to HPC clusters in a way that both enhances the experience for current users and enables those unfamiliar with traditional command line HPC use.”
“Open OnDemand has lowered the HPC barrier for students and faculty alike, especially for new users and disciplines that traditionally have not been HPC users,” says Steve Gallo, lead software engineer and XDMoD Portal technical lead at the Center for Computational Research at the University at Buffalo. “Today, many users spend much of their day using web-based apps, and OnDemand exposes HPC through this same platform. Faculty have embraced OnDemand in their courses and are excited to have tools such as Jupiter Notebooks available.”
The integrated platform of Open OnDemand 2.0 will enhance resource use visibility, extend to more resource types and institutions and support a smooth and easy use of HPC resources. Other development activities will include enhancing the web portal, integrating XDMoD, extending the portal to provide other methods of access for other science domains and improving the scaling of the system.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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