skip to main content

Title: GRAPLEr: A distributed collaborative environment for lake ecosystem modeling that integrates overlay networks, high‐throughput computing, and WEB services

The GLEON Research And PRAGMA Lake Expedition—GRAPLE—is a collaborative effort between computer science and lake ecology researchers. It aims to improve our understanding and predictive capacity of the threats to the water quality of our freshwater resources, including climate change. This paper presents GRAPLEr, a distributed computing system used to address the modeling needs of GRAPLE researchers. GRAPLEr integrates and applies overlay virtual network, high‐throughput computing, and WEB service technologies in a novel way. First, its user‐level IP‐over‐P2P overlay network allows compute and storage resources distributed across independently administered institutions (including private and public clouds) to be aggregated into a common virtual network, despite the presence of firewalls and network address translators. Second, resources aggregated by the IP‐over‐P2P virtual network run unmodified high‐throughput‐computing middleware to enable large numbers of model simulations to be executed concurrently across the distributed computing resources. Third, a WEB service interface allows end users to submit job requests to the system using client libraries that integrate with the R statistical computing environment. The paper presents the GRAPLEr architecture, describes its implementation and reports on its performance for batches of general lake model simulations across 3 cloud infrastructures (University of Florida, CloudLab, and Microsoft Azure).

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The management of drinking water quality is critical to public health and can benefit from techniques and technologies that support near real-time forecasting of lake and reservoir conditions. The cyberinfrastructure (CI) needed to support forecasting has to overcome multiple challenges, which include: 1) deploying sensors at the reservoir requires the CI to extend to the network’s edge and accommodate devices with constrained network and power; 2) different lakes need different sensor modalities, deployments, and calibrations; hence, the CI needs to be flexible and customizable to accommodate various deployments; and 3) the CI requires to be accessible and usable to various stakeholders (water managers, reservoir operators, and researchers) without barriers to entry. This paper describes the CI underlying FLARE (Forecasting Lake And Reservoir Ecosystems), a novel system co-designed in an interdisciplinary manner between CI and domain scientists to address the above challenges. FLARE integrates R packages that implement the core numerical forecasting (including lake process modeling and data assimilation) with containers, overlay virtual networks, object storage, versioned storage, and event-driven Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) serverless execution. It is a flexible forecasting system that can be deployed in different modalities, including the Manual Mode suitable for end-users’ personal computers and the Workflow Mode ideal for cloud deployment. The paper reports on experimental data and lessons learned from the operational deployment of FLARE in a drinking water supply (Falling Creek Reservoir in Vinton, Virginia, USA). Experiments with a FLARE deployment quantify its edge-to-cloud virtual network performance and serverless execution in OpenWhisk deployments on both XSEDE-Jetstream and the IBM Cloud Functions FaaS system. 
    more » « less
  2. In the last few years, Cloud computing technology has benefited many organizations that have embraced it as a basis for revamping the IT infrastructure. Cloud computing utilizes Internet capabilities in order to use other computing resources. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most widely used cloud providers that leverages the endless computing capabilities that the cloud technology has to offer. AWS is continuously evolving to offer a variety of services, including but not limited to, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and packaged software as a service. Among the other important services offered by AWS is Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) that is a hosted cloud-based video surveillance service. Even though this technology is complex and widely used, some security experts have pointed out that some of its vulnerabilities can be exploited in launching attacks aimed at cloud technologies. In this paper, we present a holistic security analysis of cloud-based video surveillance systems by examining the vulnerabilities, threats, and attacks that these technologies are susceptible to. We illustrate our findings by implementing several of these attacks on a test bed representing an AWS-based video surveillance system. The main contributions of our paper are: (1) we provided a holistic view of the security model of cloud based video surveillance summarizing the underlying threats, vulnerabilities and mitigation techniques (2) we proposed a novel taxonomy of attacks targeting such systems (3) we implemented several related attacks targeting cloud-based video surveillance system based on an AWS test environment and provide some guidelines for attack mitigation. The outcome of the conducted experiments showed that the vulnerabilities of the Internet Protocol (IP) and other protocols granted access to unauthorized VSaaS files. We aim that our proposed work on the security of cloud-based video surveillance systems will serve as a reference for cybersecurity researchers and practitioners who aim to conduct research in this field. 
    more » « less
  3. We revisit the long-standing problem of providing network QoS to applications, and propose the concept of judicious QoS -- combining the cheaper, best effort IP service with the cloud, which offers a highly reliable infrastructure and the ability to add in-network services, albeit at higher cost. Our proposed J-QoS framework offers a range of reliability services with different cost vs. delay trade-offs, including: i) a forwarding service that forwards packets over the cloud overlay, ii) a caching service, which stores packets inside the cloud and allows them to be pulled in case of packet loss or disruption on the Internet, and iii) a novel coding service that provides the least expensive packet recovery option by combining packets of multiple application streams and sending a small number of coded packets across the more expensive cloud paths. We demonstrate the feasibility of these services using measurements from RIPE Atlas and a live deployment on PlanetLab. We also consider case studies on how J-QoS works with services up and down the network stack, including Skype video conferencing, TCP-based web transfers and cellular access networks. 
    more » « less
  4. Summary

    In order to handle the vast quantities of biological data gener6ated by high‐throughput experimental technologies, the BioExtract Server ( has leveraged iPlant Collaborative ( functionality to help address big data storage and analysis issues in the bioinformatics field. The BioExtract Server is a Web‐based, workflow‐enabling system that offers researchers a flexible environment for analyzing genomic data. It provides researchers with the ability to save a series of BioExtract Server tasks (e.g., query a data source, save a data extract, and execute an analytic tool) as a workflow and the opportunity for researchers to share their data extracts, analytic tools, and workflows with collaborators. The iPlant Collaborative is a community of researchers, educators, and students working to enrich science through the development of cyberinfrastructure—the physical computing resources, collaborative environment, virtual machine resources, and interoperable analysis software and data services—that are essential components of modern biology. The iPlant AGAVE Advanced Programming Interface, developed through the iPlant Collaborative, is a hosted, Software‐as‐a‐Service resource providing access to a collection of high performance computing and cloud resources. Leveraging AGAVE, the BioExtract Server gives researchers easy access to multiple high performance computers and delivers computation and storage as dynamically allocated resources via the Internet. © 2014 The Authors.Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experiencepublished by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    more » « less
  5. Next-generation distributed computing networks (e.g., edge and fog computing) enable the efficient delivery of delay-sensitive, compute-intensive applications by facilitating access to computation resources in close proximity to end users. Many of these applications (e.g., augmented/virtual reality) are also data-intensive: in addition to user-specific (live) data streams, they require access to shared (static) digital objects (e.g., im-age database) to complete the required processing tasks. When required objects are not available at the servers hosting the associated service functions, they must be fetched from other edge locations, incurring additional communication cost and latency. In such settings, overall service delivery performance shall benefit from jointly optimized decisions around (i) routing paths and processing locations for live data streams, together with (ii) cache selection and distribution paths for associated digital objects. In this paper, we address the problem of dynamic control of data-intensive services over edge cloud networks. We characterize the network stability region and design the first throughput-optimal control policy that coordinates processing and routing decisions for both live and static data-streams. Numerical results demonstrate the superior performance (e.g., throughput, delay, and resource consumption) obtained via the novel multi-pipeline flow control mechanism of the proposed policy, compared with state-of-the-art algorithms that lack integrated stream processing and data distribution control. 
    more » « less