XSEDE Capabilities and Resource Interoperability (XCRI) team helps create a unified National Cyberinfrastructure by providing software toolkits to CI providers, enabling the creation and maintenance of XSEDE-like resources at smaller institutions
XSEDE Capabilities and Resource Interoperability (XCRI) team helps create a unified National Cyberinfrastructure by providing software toolkits to CI providers, enabling the creation and maintenance of XSEDE-like resources at smaller institutions. By tracking best practices as found in the XSEDE ecosystem, XCRI brings lessons learned on a large scale to institutions without the necessary time, money, or local experience to easily implement research computing resources.
XCRI Toolkits and services include:
The XSEDE-Compatible Basic Cluster (XCBC) software toolkit enables campus CI resource administrators to build a local cluster from scratch, which is then easily interoperable with XSEDE-supported CI resources. XCBC is very simple in concept: pull the lever, have a cluster built for you complete with an open source resource manager / scheduler and all of the essential tools needed to run a cluster, and have those tools set in place in ways that mimic the basic setup on an XSEDE-supported cluster. The XCBC is based on the OpenHPC project, and consists of XSEDE-developed Ansible playbooks and templates designed to ease the work required to build a cluster. For complete information about how to use XCBC to set up a cluster, see https://www.xsede.org/web/xup/knowledge-base/-/kb/document/bfum
The XSEDE National Integration Toolkit (XNIT). Suppose you already have a cluster that you are happy with and you want to add too it software tools that will allow users to use open sources software like that on XSEDE, or other particular pieces of software that you think are important, but you don't want to blow up your cluster to add that capability? XNIT is for you. You can add all of the basic software that is in SCBC, as relocatable RPMs (Resource Package Manger), via a YUM repo. (YUM Stands for Yellowdog Updater, Modified). The RPMs in XNIT allow you to expand the functionality of your cluster, in ways that mimic the setup on an XSEDE cluster. XNIT packages include specific scientific, mathematical, and visualization applications that have been useful on XSEDE systems. Systems administrators may pick and choose what they want to add to their local cluster; updates may be configured to run automatically or manually. Currently the XNIT repository is available for x86_64 systems running CentOS 6 or 7. For more information, see new https://www.xsede.org/web/xup/knowledge-base/-/kb/document/bfum
Optional software that can be added to clusters running XCBC or XNIT is available and described at https://kb.iu.edu/d/aoje. This includes a toolkit for installing a local Globus connect server https://kb.iu.edu/d/aojf. Globus transfer is the recommended method for transferring data to any XSEDE system.
XCRI staff will travel in person to your campus to help implement XNIT, XCBC, or any other XCRI tools on your campus. After an initial phone consultation, we can assist onsite with configuration and ensure that you have the knowledge that you need to maintain your system. That's right…. XSEDE will pay to fly XSEDE staff to your campus and help you with your campus cluster, even if you have no particular relationship to XSEDE. A list of places we have gone to give talks or help people set up clusters is at https://confluence.xsede.org/display/XT/XCRI+Site+Visits+and+Outreach+Appearances. And detailed descriptions of past visits to campuses to help with local clusters are are given in the XSEDE 2016 paper "Implementation of Simple XSEDE-Like Clusters: Science Enabled and Lessons Learned" https://doi.org/10.1145/2949550.2949570. These site visits are funded by XSEDE, including staff travel and lodgings. For more information, email email@example.com.
To understand the challenges XCRI is trying to address today, see the mission of XCRI. To understand what successful work was done by the predecessor to XCRI - the Campus Bridging Group - in the first five years of XSEDE, see Campus Bridging History.