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August 2012 User of the Month: Oliver Witzel

September 10, 2012   |  Raj Kettimuthu

It is my pleasure to announce that Oliver Witzel from Boston University has been selected as the user of the month for August 2012.

Oliver is a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University's Center for Computational Science. He works on lattice QCD simulations that focus on the computation of weak matrix elements in the heavy-light sector. Oliver is interested in computing the non-perturbative properties of B-mesons, a quark-anti quark pair consisting of a light (u-,d-,or s-) and heavy b-quark. His current work on determining B-meson decay constants and computing neutral B-bar B-mixing may help to better constrain the CKM unitarity triangle and thus test the standard model of elementary particle physics.

Oliver moved more than 20TBs of data in August 2012, between endpoints with a Globus GridFTP server and a dcache GridFTP server. Since the GridFTP protocol specification has been standardized through the Open Grid Forum, different implementations of GridFTP are available and can interoperate. Thanks to Globus Online's automatic retry mechanism, his transfers finished successfully despite many connection timeouts resulting from an issue with dcache's implementation of the GridFTP protocol.

"Exploring possibilities to improve file transfers between different computing sites used by the USQCD collaboration, I was directed to Globus Online. I am very satisfied about its reliability, speed and user support." Oliver said. "In the past weeks I copied lattice QCD gauge field configurations and quark propagators from our tape storage at Fermilab to small clusters at BNL and Columbia University. The speed of Globus Online made it possible to keep both machines almost continuously busy and enabled me to perform a computation much faster than expected. Thanks for making it so easy to use GridFTP and responding quickly with a fix to my problem." Oliver added.

Oliver's use case demonstrates the power of both the SaaS approach as well as the use of standard protocols. Adherence to the standard GridFTP protocol made it possible to move data between two different storage systems running two different implementations of the GridFTP server. The SaaS approach used by Globus Online allowed us to rapidly address the issue with dcache's GridFTP implementation, completely transparent to the user.

Congratulations Oliver, and thanks for your use of Globus Online!