Jetstream: A Distributed Cloud Infrastructure for Under-resourced Higher Education Communities

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The US National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2015 awarded funding for a first-of-a-kind distributed cyberinfrastructure (DCI) system called Jetstream. Jetstream will be the NSF’s first production cloud for general-purpose science and engineering research and education. Jetstream, scheduled for production in January 2016, will be based on the OpenStack cloud environment software with a menu-driven interface to make it easy for users to select a pre-composed Virtual Machine (VM) to perform a particular discipline-specific analysis. Jetstream will use the Atmosphere user interface developed as part of iPlant, providing a low barrier to use by practicing scientists, engineers, educators, and students, and Globus services from the University of Chicago for seamless integration into the national cyberinfrastructure fabric. The team implementing Jetstream has as their primary mission extending the reach of the NSF’s eXtreme Digital (XD) program to researchers, educators, and research students who have not previously used NSF XD program resources, including those in communities and at institutions that traditionally lack significant cyberinfrastructure resources. We will, for example, use virtual Linux Desktops to deliver DCI capabilities supporting research and research education at small colleges and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Tribal colleges, and higher education institutions in states designated by the NSF as eligible for funding via the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Jetstream will be a novel distributed cyberinfrastructure, with production components in Indiana and Texas. In particular, Jetstream will deliver virtual Linux desktops to tablet devices and PDAs with reasonable responsiveness running over cellular networks. This paper will discuss design and application plans for Jetstream as a novel Distributed CyberInfrastructure system for research education.
distributed cyberinfrastructure, higher education, VM, virtual machine, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Tribal colleges, EPSCoR, servers, XSEDE, outreach, training. cloud, research, Globus, Atmosphere, XSEDE
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Copyright 2015 by the Trustees of Indiana University. This content is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (
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