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Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Uses $1.5M NSF Grant to Link Galaxy to XSEDE Network

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The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center has put in place a high-bandwidth link between Galaxy, a web-based bioinformatics platform developed at Pennsylvania State University, and the network backbone of the National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, or XSEDE, program.

The connection — a 10-gigabit per second fiber-optic-based link — provides Galaxy's approximately 10,000 users with access to XSEDE's high-performance computing resources, PSC said.

The XSEDE team has already begun working with Galaxy scientists to develop capabilities that will allow biologists to use XSEDE data analysis and storage resources as needed. They are also working on incorporating distributed data analysis and management capabilities into future versions of the Galaxy software.

The project is supported by a $1.5 million, four-year grant to the Three Rivers Optical Exchange, or 3ROX, PSC high performance internet hub that was awarded in 2010 through NSF’s Academic Research Infrastructure program.

Anton Nekrutenko, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State and a Galaxy co-developer, said in a statement that the connection "provides us with the ability to run up to 150,000 jobs per month, and we expect to quadruple that as this link gets fully up and running."

He added that the connection will allow biologists to "take advantage of [high-performance computing] resources in ways they otherwise could not" in terms of using both computing and storage resources at XSEDE sites.

In a statement, Wendy Huntoon, PSC's director of networking, noted that this is the first dedicated link from a site that’s not an XSEDE “service provider” to the XSEDE network backbone.

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