Press Releases


TACC to Participate in $15-Million "FutureGrid" Supercomputing Test-Bed

Published on October 26, 2009 by Faith Singer-Villalobos

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin is a key participant in the $15 million "FutureGrid" project led by Indiana University (IU) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

FutureGrid will provide an infrastructure for researchers to perform experiments to tackle complex challenges using distributed systems. These include topics ranging from authentication, authorization, scheduling, virtualization, middleware design, interface design and cyber-security, to the optimization of grid-enabled and cloud-enabled computational schemes for researchers in astronomy, chemistry, biology, engineering, atmospheric science, and epidemiology.

"FutureGrid is an exciting platform for research and development in distributed systems," said Warren Smith, one of the co-PIs and a research associate in TACC's high performance computing group. "Experiments on FutureGrid will allow us to provide more reliable and capable software infrastructures to the national scientific community and allow scientists to improve the applications that run on such infrastructures."

TACC will host an HPC cluster, help to develop the user portal, and provide an experimental management framework.

FutureGrid is a four-year, experimental test-bed comprised of about 1,400 advanced computer processing units in locations across the United States, including IU Bloomington, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of California San Diego, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the University of Chicago/Argonne National Lab, and the University of Florida in Gainesville. The systems will be connected through advanced research and educations networks and have access to half a petabyte of storage.

The goal of this project is to make it easier for scientists to conduct experimental computer and computational science research that requires specific resource configurations and repeatable experiments. FutureGrid users will be able to specify and save resource configurations, as well as have access to tools that support the execution of experiments on those distributed resources.

FutureGrid will become part of the NSF's TeraGrid high-performance cyberinfrastructure. It will increase the capability of the TeraGrid to support innovative computer science research requiring access to lower levels of the grid software stack, the networking software stack, and to virtualization and workflow orchestration tools. Full integration into the TeraGrid is anticipated by October 1, 2011.