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Nsf's New Shared Supercomputing Platform Goes to Extremes

By Government Computer News

July 27, 2011

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The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), a distributed computing infrastructure that will connect researchers with supercomputers, data, and software tools.

XSEDE, which consists of 17 academic and research institutions, will eventually replace the NSF TeraGrid program. "Our goal is to do this in a way that is non-disruptive to the community we have been supporting," says University of Illinois researcher John Towns, who describes XSEDE as a managed evolution to support advanced scientific research with no static end date.

A user-centric environment, XSEDE will support collaboration and high-performance computing. Projects that are currently supported by TeraGrid will continue to be supported by XSEDE.

"From the user's point of view, there is a change of name and some new things will appear," Towns says. XSEDE also will let users build their own ad hoc environments for collaboration, enabling them to make resources available to partners even if those resources are not directly managed by XSEDE.

XSEDE will also provide jobs for the praticipating institutions. "Indiana University's role in XSEDE provides leading edge research, and supports progressive jobs within Indiana," says Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and CIO at Indiana University.

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