Two main grids exist in India – the Regional component of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG ) and GARUDA, the India National Grid Initiative. Both initiatives strongly rely on the development of national and international connectivity. In this respect fundamental steps have been taken and impressive targets have been achieved.
The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid in India
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), built at CERN near Geneva, is the largest scientific instrument on the planet which is now in its data-taking phase. Once in full operation, it will produce roughly 15 million gigabytes of data annually, which thousands of scientists around the world will access and analyse. The mission of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) project is to build and maintain a data storage and analysis infrastructure for the entire high-energy physics community that will use the LHC. The DAE is participating to the scientific program taking active part in CMS (CMS) and ALICE (ALICE Experiment) experiments, devoted to find answers to the most fundamental questions at the foundations of matter constituents. The data from the LHC experiments will be distributed around the globe, according to a four-tiered model. Within this model, to support researchers with required infrastructure, India has also setup regional Tier-2 centres connected to CERN. In India there are two Tier2 centres: one for CMS at TIFR in Mumbai and one for ALICE at Saha-VECC in Kolkata. These centres provide access to CMS and ALICE users working from Tier-3 centres at Universities and national labs and LCG Data Grid services for analysis. TIFR is presently connected to CERN at 1 Gb/s and very soon it will exploit the 2.5 Gb/s TEIN3 link. Now TIFR and VECC are also being connected through NKN at 1 Gb/s.
Specific activities are also ongoing in the area of Grid Middleware Software development, devoted to ensuring grid enabling of IT systems. These activities cover the area of Grid Fabric management, Grid Data management, Data Security, Grid workload scheduling and monitoring services, fault tolerant systems, etc. DAE developed number of Grid based Tools in the area of Fabric management, AFS file system, Grid View and Data Management, which have been deployed by CERN in their LHC Grid operations since September 2002. So far, the number of software tools and packages such as a correlation engine, Grid operations monitoring, problem-tracking system, Pool Database Backend Prototype, Scientific Library Evaluation and Development of Routines, AliEn Storage System and Andrews File System, have been developed by DAE team members under a Computing Software agreement. Currently, BARC engineers are working on the enhancement of the Grid View software tool.
GARUDA, the National Grid Initiative of India is a collaboration of scientific and technological researchers on a nationwide grid comprising of computational nodes, storage devices and scientific instruments. It aims to provide the technological advances required to enable data and compute intensive science for the 21st century. GARUDA has now transitioned from the Proof of Concept phase (which ERNET initiated together with C-DAC) to the Foundation Phase in April 2008. The establishment of Indian Grid Certification Authority (IGCA), (http://ca.garudaindia.in) for the first time in India by CDAC in November 2008 has allowed full access to worldwide grids for Indian Researchers and represented a landmark in this domain.
The Department of Information Technology (DIT) has funded the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to deploy the nation-wide computational grid ‘GARUDA’ which today connects 45 institutions cross 17 cities in its Proof of Concept (PoC) phase with an aim to bring “Grid” networked computing to research labs And industry. In pursuit of scientific and technological excellence, GARUDA PoC has also brought together the critical mass of well-established researchers.
To ensure progressive evolution and durable integration, GARUDA PoC is managed by C-DAC with the Grid monitoring station at Bangalore structured around complementary research areas that have been selected on the basis of their strategic importance, research challenges and the existing C-DAC expertise to build and engineer grid middleware and services.
The GARUDA network
The GARUDA network is a Layer 2/3 MPLS Virtual Private Network vvVPN] connecting selected institutions
at 10/100 Mbps with stringent quality and Service Level Agreements. The network has been contracted as a managed service with a peak capacity of 2.43 Gbps across 17 cities. This network is a pre-cursor to the next generation Gigabit speed nation-wide Wide Area Network with high performance computing resources and scientific instruments for seamless collaborative research and experiments. The PoC network was established at all the GARUDA partner institutes in close collaboration with ERNET who are responsible for the operation, maintenance and management of this network.
The GARUDA Communication Fabric
Provide an ultra-high speed multi services communication fabric connecting user organizations across 17 cities in the country
Provide seamless & high speed access to the compute, data & other resources on the Grid
High-speed Communication Fabric connecting 17 cities
Grid Management & Monitoring Centre
IP based Collaborative Environment among select centres
Ethernet based High Bandwidth capacity
Scalable over entire geographic area
High levels of reliability
Effective Network Management
In this collaborative grid project, various resources such as high performance computing systems (HPC) and satellite based communication systems have been committed by different centers of C-DAC and GARUDA partners. It may be noted that since the resources are diverse in nature, one of the major challenges of GARUDA is to deploy appropriate tools and middleware to enable applications to run seamlessly across the grid.
Grid Management and Monitoring
A dedicated Grid monitoring and management centre at C-DAC, Bangalore helps in managing and monitoring all the components in the Grid. State-of-the-art display walls and advanced software like “Paryavekshanam” developed at C-DAC help in effectively monitoring the health and utilization of various components of the Grid. A mobile agent framework for monitoring the Grid resources and also for automatic update of software releases is being explored.
Applications of national importance that require aggregation of geographically distributed resources have been prototyped in the PoC phase.
- C-DAC’s Bio-informatics Resources & Applications Facility on their PARAM Supercomputing facility is accessible to the Bio-informatics community involved in insilico molecule identification and new drug discovery. The enormous amounts of data and the complexity of algorithms in bioinformatics demand tremendous computational cycles, necessitating effective use of grid resources beyond those available at any single location.
- The Natural Disaster Management application is characterized by intensive computing and data access requirements and is currently being tested on the GARUDA grid. C-DAC, in collaboration with a partner institution, has analyzed data collected from vast disaster-prone regions. After uploading to GARUDA the analysed data help to forecast severity of various stages of Natural Disaster to user agencies for effective mitigation and relief measures.
- The Winglet Optimisation System is a CFD simulation based application to optimize the Winglet of an airplane which is enabled on Garuda. In this, a genetic algorithm is being used to optimize the winglet design. The algorithm spawns a population of about 100 potential designs on the grid nodes to do CFD simulation so that each of them can be analysed towards optimality using cross-breeding and local mutations on these designs.
Forty-five research and academic centres, including 36 Partner institutions, ERNET HQ and 8 centres of C-DAC are participating in GARUDA. Research has been initiated in Semantic Grid Services, Mobile Agents, Integrated Development Environments, Network Simulation and Grid File Systems. These initiatives are done both internally as well as in collaboration with partners. Moreover, C-DAC is also collaborating in the EU- India Grid project which will allow researchers and scientists across Europe and India to conduct simulation experiments on EGEE and GARUDA grids.