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September 2012 User of the Month: Kenneth Aird

October 15, 2012   |  Raj Kettimuthu

I am happy to announce that the user of the month for September 2012 is Kenneth Aird from University of Chicago.

Ken is a software engineer at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at University of Chicago where he manages the local computing resources, data storage, access, and backup for the South Pole Telescope. The South Pole telescope is the largest telescope ever deployed at the South Pole. It is designed to study the Cosmic Microwave background and explore dark energy, the phenomena that may be causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate. The collaboration currently has about 250TB of telescope observation data and intermediate data products. Ken is using Globus Online to archive all of this data – as well as data from ongoing observations and analysis – to the High Performance Storage System (HPSS) at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC).

"There is no way I could have undertaken this task without a product like Globus Online to provide reliable, automated, high throughput file transfer services." Ken says. "Your simple web based user interface and excellent online tutorials allowed me to be up and running in a matter of hours. Your online support service has responded promptly to the few issues and questions I have had." he adds.

During September, Ken moved ~30TB of data spread across more than 11 million files, using Globus Online's Web and command line interfaces. He also makes extensive use of the Linux version of Globus Connect, a single click (and one copy/paste) tool that turns your personal computer into a Globus Online endpoint. Ken has achieved transfer rates as high as 970 Mbps for wide area transfers from his machine in Chicago to a HPC cluster in California.

Ken has been using the 'verify integrity after transfer' functionality, a fairly new feature. With this feature enabled, when the transfer of a file is completed, the file is read back from the destination filesystem and its checksum is computed and verified against the checksum of the source file to ensure data integrity. Ken has used the synchronization (rsync-like) capabilities in Globus Online and has also benefitted from the automatic fault recovery mechanism in Globus Online as his machine running Globus Connect went offline for a while sometimes.

"I have been using Globus Connect on the local South Pole Telescope servers, and plan to make them full fledged endpoints using Globus Connect Multi-User (GCMU), so that my end users can easily upload follow up observation data from observatories around the world." Ken says.

Overall, Ken has made good use of Globus Online and continues to use it a great deal. I would like to congratulate him on his selection as the Globus Online User of the Month and thank him for using Globus Online!