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Information Power Grid: Distributed High-Performance Computing and Large-Scale Data Management for Science and EngineeringWe use the term "Grid" to refer to distributed, high performance computing and data handling infrastructure that incorporates geographically and organizationally dispersed, heterogeneous resources that are persistent and supported. This infrastructure includes: (1) Tools for constructing collaborative, application oriented Problem Solving Environments / Frameworks (the primary user interfaces for Grids); (2) Programming environments, tools, and services providing various approaches for building applications that use aggregated computing and storage resources, and federated data sources; (3) Comprehensive and consistent set of location independent tools and services for accessing and managing dynamic collections of widely distributed resources: heterogeneous computing systems, storage systems, real-time data sources and instruments, human collaborators, and communications systems; (4) Operational infrastructure including management tools for distributed systems and distributed resources, user services, accounting and auditing, strong and location independent user authentication and authorization, and overall system security services The vision for NASA's Information Power Grid - a computing and data Grid - is that it will provide significant new capabilities to scientists and engineers by facilitating routine construction of information based problem solving environments / frameworks. Such Grids will knit together widely distributed computing, data, instrument, and human resources into just-in-time systems that can address complex and large-scale computing and data analysis problems. Examples of these problems include: (1) Coupled, multidisciplinary simulations too large for single systems (e.g., multi-component NPSS turbomachine simulation); (2) Use of widely distributed, federated data archives (e.g., simultaneous access to metrological, topological, aircraft performance, and flight path scheduling databases supporting a National Air Space Simulation systems}; (3) Coupling large-scale computing and data systems to scientific and engineering instruments (e.g., realtime interaction with experiments through real-time data analysis and interpretation presented to the experimentalist in ways that allow direct interaction with the experiment (instead of just with instrument control); (5) Highly interactive, augmented reality and virtual reality remote collaborations (e.g., Ames / Boeing Remote Help Desk providing field maintenance use of coupled video and NDI to a remote, on-line airframe structures expert who uses this data to index into detailed design databases, and returns 3D internal aircraft geometry to the field); (5) Single computational problems too large for any single system (e.g. the rotocraft reference calculation). Grids also have the potential to provide pools of resources that could be called on in extraordinary / rapid response situations (such as disaster response) because they can provide common interfaces and access mechanisms, standardized management, and uniform user authentication and authorization, for large collections of distributed resources (whether or not they normally function in concert). IPG development and deployment is addressing requirements obtained by analyzing a number of different application areas, in particular from the NASA Aero-Space Technology Enterprise. This analysis has focussed primarily on two types of users: the scientist / design engineer whose primary interest is problem solving (e.g. determining wing aerodynamic characteristics in many different operating environments), and whose primary interface to IPG will be through various sorts of problem solving frameworks. The second type of user is the tool designer: the computational scientists who convert physics and mathematics into code that can simulate the physical world. These are the two primary users of IPG, and they have rather different requirements. The results of the analysis of the needs of these two types of users provides a broad set of requirements that gives rise to a general set of required capabilities. The IPG project is intended to address all of these requirements. In some cases the required computing technology exists, and in some cases it must be researched and developed. The project is using available technology to provide a prototype set of capabilities in a persistent distributed computing testbed. Beyond this, there are required capabilities that are not immediately available, and whose development spans the range from near-term engineering development (one to two years) to much longer term R&D (three to six years). Additional information is contained in the original.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Johnston, William E. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Gannon, Dennis (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Nitzberg, Bill (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2000
Subject Category
Documentation and Information Science
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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