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Christine Fitzpatrick

Last modified: Monday, October 2, 2006

IU to help build the Open Science Grid

Oct. 2, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University and its institutional partners in the Open Science Grid Consortium will receive a five-year, $30 million award from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science to support expansion of the Open Science Grid, or OSG, and extend ongoing operations activities managed by Indiana University.

The OSG will create a "petascale data infrastructure" that supports petabytes (millions of gigabytes) of data, to be used by scientists around the world for their research. A petabyte of data is a lot -- its zeroes and ones would fill 240,000 DVDs. A critical concept behind the OSG is the use of many, many computers worldwide to analyze the data in these petabyte data stores.

The OSG is built and operated by a unique partnership of universities, national laboratories, scientific collaborations and software developers that work together to create a common distributed computing environment, or grid, for scientific research. Computing resources from more than 60 sites in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America are shared through the OSG. These resources range from small clusters of 10 computers to large facilities with thousands of processors and millions of gigabytes of data storage.

As the coordinator of Grid Operations for the Open Science Grid, IU will be a leading contributor in the management and growth of an effective distributed facility for researchers from a variety of scientific disciplines. IU Open Science Grid Site Lead S. Leigh Grundhoefer is responsible for these activities, and said, "This award recognizes IU's leadership in developing the concept of Grid Operations centers, which builds directly on the expertise of IU faculty by transforming research initiatives in the computer science area into useable and reliable production IT infrastructure."

The OSG Grid Operations Facility, based at IU, provides the services and the support necessary to bind the distributed components of the OSG into a coherent whole. The Grid Operations Center (GOC) provides operational services for problem reporting, resource monitoring, service validation and reporting on daily computational activities and operational events. To learn more about the OSG Grid Operations Facility, see

IU researchers stand to gain from the expanded cyberinfrastructure of the OSG for research and scientific discovery.

"Indiana University is involved in major supercomputers such as Big Red, NSF-funded grid activities such as the TeraGrid, and now major DOE-funded grant activities via this grant for the Open Science Grid," said Craig Stewart, IU associate vice president, research computing. "The Open Science Grid is particularly important to the support of the national physics community, as well as physicists at IU. This award emphasizes IU's significant presence in advanced computing in physics as well as our widely understood involvement in the life sciences."

Fifteen members of the OSG Consortium, including 11 U.S. universities and four national laboratories, will receive funding through the NSF and DOE Office of Science awards. Over the next five years, the consortium will reach out to more scientists and scientific collaborations, helping them to harness the power of grid computing for their research.

The Open Science Grid Consortium's release is at

IU's consortium partners are Boston University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Cornell University, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Chicago, the University of Florida, the University of Iowa, the University of North Carolina and Renaissance Computing Institute, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For more information about the project, please contact Christine Fitzpatrick (Office of the Vice President for Information Technology) at 317-278-1818 or