Research and development activity (R&D)
Scope of activity
The HPC department participates in many national and international projects which concern the development and the security of both grid infrastructures and HPC (en. High Performance Computing ) as well as the research on new technologies and the optimisation of scientific applications. The solutions formulated during the project work are implemented in WCSS in order to provide the highest standards of service. The computational resources are a part of Polish and European research infrastructures such as PL-Grid, EGI, PRACE and PLATON.
Since 2002 NDS team have been participating in the research work on grid infrastructure and computing. During the national SGIgrid project (2002-2005), the advanced algorithms of computing applications management as well as grid authentication mechanisms were examined. The following projects such as KKO (2002), CLUSTERIX (2003-2005), EGEE I/II/III (2004-2010), PL-Grid (2010-2012) and current PL Grid PLUS (2012-2014) as well as EGI-Inspire (2010-2014), have brought further research, integration and implementation of these issues.
WCSS computing hardware is a part of Polish and European grid computing infrastructure PL Grid and EGI (European Grid Infrastructure).
Apart from the grid initiatives, the HPC department participates in projects developing HPC services (High Performance Computing). Projects such as PRACE PP (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe Preparatory Phase, 2008-2009), PRACE 1IP (2010-2012), PRACE 2IP (2011-2013) and PRACE 3IP (2012-2014) implement all-European services with a PetaFlop/s performance. PRACE projects enable access to the most powerful computing devices in Europe (Tier-0) or smaller systems of national or regional character (Tier-1). Since 2008 WCSS has been taking part in these activities, as one of 5 Polish computing centres, dealing with conceptual, operational and research work in the field of optimisation and testing of scientific applications with new software and hardware technologies.
High Performance Computers (Supernova cluster) are a part of an European research infrastructure PRACE-RI, as Tier-1 resources.
Applications on demand
As the addition to computing infrastructure (grids, HPC), the HPC department within the PLATON platform participates in the development and implementation of the campus computing services PLATON U3. The purchased cluster together with currently developed software enable access to academic applications and software licences on demand, primary intended for interactive operation.
WCSS campus cluster is a part of the national science service platform PLATON U3.
During National Data Storage (NDS) project (2007-2009), we gained a number of tools for implementing a distributed and fault-resistant data store. The HPC department participated in the analysis of users requirements, the development of system architecture and access modes as well as implementation of mechanisms that would assure the security of the stored data. This process is continued within PLATON U4 and NDS2 projects (2011-2013).
Disk resources and the tape library are a part of Polish distributed data store NDS.
The advanced technology of computer incidents management in computer networks, developed by WCSS as part of POSITIF project (Policy-based Security Tools and Framework, FP6, 2004-2007) evolve and has been implemented during the successive projects i.a. PL-Grid (2009-2012) and PLGrid Plus (2011-2014). In relation to former experience ACARM-ng (Alert Correlation, Assessment and Reaction Module - new generation) was created. The tool is integrated with Intrusion Detection System sensors (Intrusion Detection System) and allows the correlation of nework incidents information in the real time.
During PL-Grid project WCSS coordinated the activities aimed to maintain the infrastructure safety, now integrating and implementing the key components derived from previous experience. The work is continued during PLGrid Plus project. Next such component is a grid certification centre PL-Grid Simple CA, which, through introduction of novel solutions, makes the use of the grid even safer. The introduction of keyFS, a tool which makes an authentication of users simpler, implemented in National Data Storage projects, aims on bringing a similar effect.
Public Key Infrastructure
Project NASTEC (FP5) resulted in 2002 with the launch of Polish Certification Centre EuroPKI which was a part of European public key structure EuroPKI. During 8 years of its activity, the Centre issued personal certificates for the users of computing infrastructures which were parts of incoming projects (e.g. SGIgrid, Clusterix), as well as for different representatives of Polish academic society.
The experience gained during the active years of EuroPKI Centre served well while implementing Polish Public Key Infrastructure PIONIER PKI (2009-2010 project) and certification centre PL-Grid SimpleCA for Polish grid computing infrastructure. With the end of year 2010, PIONIER PKI took over clients of Polish EuroPKI centre.