November 2007
Software Enabling Technologies for Petascale Science
Dean N. Williams, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
David E. Bernholdt, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Ian T. Foster, Argonne National Laboratory
Don E. Middleton, National Center for Atmospheric Research

4. The Next-Generation ESG

Building upon ESG’s success to date, ESG-CET is developing a next-generation environment targeted at enabling flexible, efficient, and universal access to yet larger datasets, and to harnessing distributed worldwide resources for the purpose of advancing climate and related impacts research and assessment. In creating this new community infrastructure, ESG-CET will turn even more climate model data into true community resources and place advanced capabilities in the hands of a substantial user base community.

Our high-level goals for this next phase of ESG are driven by scientific objectives relevant to DOE’s scientific priorities over the next several years. In brief, they are, firstly, to sustain successful existing ESG services and, secondly, to address scientific needs related to projected future data management and analysis requirements, with a particular focus on:

  • Preparing for the CMIP4 IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5) in 2010.
  • Publishing and enabling processing of the massive data produced by the Climate Science Computational End Station (CCES) at ORNL’s NCCS/LCF.
  • Supporting a wide-range of climate model evaluation activities aimed at improving climate change research.

To support this effort, we will broaden ESG to support multiple types of model and observational data, provide more powerful (client-side) ESG access and analysis services, enhance interoperability between common climate analysis tools and ESG, and enable end-to-end simulation and analysis workflow. Figure 3 depicts the scientific data management and analysis requirements in relationship to the ESG development timeframe. We specifically note that a distributed testbed for CMIP4 (IPCC AR5) must be in place by early 2009.

Figure 3

Figure 3. Evolving ESG to the Petascale: High-level ESG-CET Roadmap.

The ESG-CET architecture must be generalized to enable a larger number of sites with more diverse capabilities to selectively federate, cooperate, or operate in a standalone fashion as individual sites desire. The architecture must support a variety of user access mechanisms, including multiple portals and service- or API-based access, and data delivery mechanisms. This architecture must also be robust in the face of system and network failures at the participating sites.

To address these concerns, we designed the federated ESG-CET architecture (see Figures 4 and 5) to provide interoperability and enhanced functionality to users, and are now implementing the new design through a combination of evolution of existing software, development of new tools, and integration with third-party software. The much wider deployment anticipated for the next generation system means that software deployability and maintainability are vital considerations in determining the most effective implementation.

Figure 4

Figure 4. Future ESG-CET Architecture.

Figure 5

Figure 5. The ESG-CET Federated System.

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Reference this article
Williams, D. N., Bernholdt, D. E., Foster, I. T., Middleton, D. E. "The Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technologies: Enabling Community Access to Petascale Climate Datasets ," CTWatch Quarterly, Volume 3, Number 4, November 2007. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2007/11/the-earth-system-grid-center-for-enabling-technologies-enabling-community-access-to-petascale-climate-datasets/

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