Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) Science Cloud

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Daniel Duffy1,2, John L Schnase3, Mark McInerney1, William P Webster1,3, Scott Sinno2, John H Thompson2, Peter C Griffith4, Elizabeth Hoy4 and Mark Carroll5, (1)NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA Center for Climate Simulation, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)NASA Goddard Space Flight Cent, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (4)NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (5)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States
The effects of climate change are being revealed at alarming rates in the Arctic and Boreal regions of the planet. NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology Program has launched a major field campaign to study these effects over the next 5 to 8 years. The Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) will challenge scientists to take measurements in the field, study remote observations, and even run models to better understand the impacts of a rapidly changing climate for areas of Alaska and western Canada.

The NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has partnered with the Terrestrial Ecology Program to create a science cloud designed for this field campaign – the ABoVE Science Cloud. The cloud combines traditional high performance computing with emerging technologies to create an environment specifically designed for large-scale climate analytics. The ABoVE Science Cloud utilizes (1) virtualized high-speed InfiniBand networks, (2) a combination of high-performance file systems and object storage, and (3) virtual system environments tailored for data intensive, science applications. At the center of the architecture is a large object storage environment, much like a traditional high-performance file system, that supports data proximal processing using technologies like MapReduce on a Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). Surrounding the storage is a cloud of high performance compute resources with many processing cores and large memory coupled to the storage through an InfiniBand network. Virtual systems can be tailored to a specific scientist and provisioned on the compute resources with extremely high-speed network connectivity to the storage and to other virtual systems.

In this talk, we will present the architectural components of the science cloud and examples of how it is being used to meet the needs of the ABoVE campaign. In our experience, the science cloud approach significantly lowers the barriers and risks to organizations that require high performance computing solutions and provides the NCCS with the agility required to meet our customers’ rapidly increasing and evolving requirements.