Developed by Foster’s team in 1997 as a nonprofit service to connect researchers, Globus made the transfer of enormous data sets accessible to any researcher with an Internet connection and a laptop. Globus is a University of Chicago initiative supported in part by funding from the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Sloan Foundation.
Moving the first 200 petabytes required more than five years; the final 200 were transferred in just over eight months. This rapidly accelerating growth has been invaluable to more than 150,000 registered users at hundreds of universities, national labs, government facilities and other research institutions – plus a growing number of commercial companies – which have now transferred over 120 billion files using Globus. The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility and Advanced Photon Source, both U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities located at Argonne, are key users of the service.
The need for rapid, secure and reliable data transfer and sharing has never been greater. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, powerful computing systems like Argonne’s future Aurora exascale system and new scientific instruments have led to an explosion in data. The ability to securely and reliably move and process tens of terabytes daily is the “new normal” for many research computing facilities in this exascale era.
“It is such an exciting time for the research community,” says Foster of the milestone. “The massive data volumes being collected, analyzed and shared today will enable us to address and solve some of the world’s most challenging problems, from discovering new vaccines to tackling climate change and uncovering some of the mysteries of the Universe.”
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