Gateway Portal

Report No. ARL-TR-3154
Authors: Marlon Pierce and Stephen Wilkerson
Date/Pages: March 2004; 22 pages
Abstract: One problem facing researchers needing high-speed computations for their research is easy access to High Performance Computing (HPC) resources. At one time, a majority of the users in the research community had two machines: one Unix workstation for research and another personal computer (PC) type machine for word processing, e-mail, and creating publications and presentations. As the speed and popularity of PCs have grown, their roll has also changed to include pre- and post-processing of complex jobs as well as their other functions. Moreover, these machines have started replacing the more expensive Unix-based workstations for graphics and other multimedia functions. While PC machines can be made to emulate a Unix X-Windows environment, this requires users to understand both operating systems and have X-software loaded on the PC client. In some cases, unfortunately, users are becoming more PC literate and less Unix knowledgeable. Not knowing the correct commands has led to difficulties in transferring files, writing job scripts, and the like, for HPC access. One solution is to make the access to HPC assets available through a web interface. A web server can establish a connection between the user?s PC and HPC assets, allowing file transfers and job submission. This interface eliminates the need for the user to understand how to write GRD scripts and the problems associated with setting up HPC computer runs, while allowing the scientist to concentrate on the application of the computation for his or her research. However, there are security concerns associated with Web access to HPC. This report addresses the implementation of a Web solution using Java, Java Beans, and Java Server Pages (JSP) on an Apache web server running Tomcat. Examples from the Gateway interface are used as evidence of this technology as a solution to a growing problem.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2004