A Lightweight Application Hosting Environment is Now Available for TeraGrid Users

CHICAGO, June 9, 2006 — RealityGrid, a grid computing collaboration of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has released version 1.0.0 of the Application Hosting Environment (AHE).

Easily deployable, AHE is designed to allow scientists to quickly and easily run applications on remote grid resources. “AHE helps lower the barrier of entry for users of the TeraGrid,” says TeraGrid director Charlie Catlett. “We’re thrilled to see such middleware solutions made available to user communities to draw on the broad array of resources, from a variety of grids, to match the appropriate tools to the job.”

“This lightweight, web services based, easy to install and use environment,” says Peter Coveney, director of the Centre for Computational Science at University College London, “has considerable potential to make access to and exploitation of distributed, heterogeneous and grid-enabled resources far easier than it has been up till now.” Coveney will speak about AHE on June 14 and will demonstrate AHE on June 15 at TeraGrid ‘06 in Indianapolis.

AHE provides scientists with application-specific services to use grid resources in a rapid and transparent manner, with the scientific objective as the main driver of the activity. It provides resource selection, application launching, workflow execution, provenance and data-recovery.

With AHE, says Coveney, who led the team that developed it, researchers can take any existing “legacy” application and easily host it inside the AHE for deployment on the U.S. National Science Foundation TeraGrid as well as the UK National Grid Service. “The documentation we have prepared,” says Coveney, “covers application deployment on both NGS and TeraGrid resources.”

The AHE has been developed using the Perl WSRF::Lite toolkit, and provides application services that are consistent with the Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF) specification and interoperable with other WSRF-aware clients. The AHE delegates job submission to the GridSAM job submission and monitoring web service. AHE is intended to be run on the researcher’s desktop or local workgroup cluster and serve as their local gateway to the Grid.

The AHE clients, written in Java, are consumers of the AHE application services. In keeping with the AHE’s philosophy, the clients are designed to be sufficiently light-weight so as to be deployable on PDAs and cellular telephones.

Funded through the EPSRC RealityGrid project, the AHE is distributed free of charge. AHE source code and documentation is available for download from:

http://www.realitygrid.org/AHE/index.shtml

The TeraGrid, sponsored by the National Science Foundation Office of Cyberinfrastructure, is a partnership of people and a comprehensive collection of resources and services that enables and accelerates discovery in U.S. science and engineering research. Through coordinated grid middleware, policy, and high-performance network connections, TeraGrid integrates a distributed set of high capability computational, data management and visualization resources to make U.S. research more productive. TeraGrid's Science Gateway collaborations and education and mentoring programs interconnect and broaden scientific communities.