Git-‘R-Done: New OSG resources from the 2017 AHM

In early March, over 120 people gathered at the San Diego Supercomputer Center for the annual Open Science Grid All-Hands Meeting. The meeting brings researchers from all fields of science and distributed computing technicians together to learn about the numerous areas of science that the OSG impacts, both within and outside of the particle physics community, and new tools and techniques to improve the performance of the available computing resources. All talks are available from the FNAL Indico server:

https://indico.fnal.gov/conferenceTimeTable.py?confId=12973

The meeting featured a number of technical improvements to OSG that will be of interest to FIFE users. These include container options for user jobs, easier OSG site setup via a hosted Compute Element option, and new compute clusters with GPU resources. Running jobs inside of containers such as Docker or Singularity, as many sites are beginning to do, can actually make it easier to run FIFE jobs on remote resources. Experiments can often create their own container images, which helps to ensure that all necessary software is present on the worker node. A FIFE meeting on April 6 included some ideas for creating FIFE containers on remote sites.

Fermilab’s Kevin Retzke giving a presentation about the GRACC grid accounting system at the 2017 OSG AH. Photo Credit: K. Herner

The new Hosted Compute Element (CE) infrastructure allows for a much simpler installation on the remote site, with OSG personnel doing the bulk of the maintenance and operations duties. Our hope is that this type of simpler setup will encourage additional, smaller sites that might have been reluctant to join OSG before to start participating. More sites mean more resources for everyone, especially FIFE experiments.

SDSC. Photo credit: K. Herner

The demand for GPU resources among FIFE experiments has been steadily increasing in recent months. Some GPU resources already exist at Nebraska and are accessible to FIFE experiments (contact your CS liaison or the FIFE group to find out how to access them), and we hope to be adding additional sites in the next several weeks. We plan to set up appropriate resource groups so that users can submit to GPU-enabled sites with the usual jobsub commands and only one small additional modification. If you or your experiment is interested in running on GPU clusters on the OSG, contact the FIFE group.

As usual, the meeting was very productive. Attendees were able to establish connections, get updates on the latest technology and learn of ways to improve their use of the OSG.

— Ken Herner