Grid Portal Architecture for Scientific Applications

Mary Thomas, SDSU

Computational scientists often develop large models and codes for use by larger communities of users or for repetitive tasks such as parametric sweeps. Lowering the barrier of entry for access to these codes is often a technical and sociological challenge: resources and services are complex and distributed; HPC environments change frequently; and more importantly, users often have little or no computer science expertise. Portals are well known interfaces providing access to a large variety of resources, services, applications, and tools for private, public, and commercial entities. Computational science portals have proven to be very useful many large-scale application science projects. Furthermore, grid-enabled portals can deliver complex grid solutions to users wherever they have access to a web browser running on the Internet without the need to download or install any specialized software or worry about networks and ports, etc. In this paper, we present an overview of the current state-of-the-art in grid portals, a summary of current DOE funded portal research projects, and several examples of science communities that are benefiting from these technologies. In addition, we introduce the DOE Portals Consortium, which is a collaborative effort focused on integrating technologies developed by DOE portal and science application research projects and producing software solutions that can be used across the DOE environment.