Showing posts from June, 2017

Microsoft's Azure cloud for High Energy Physics applications

The UVIC group has been using private and commercial clouds for High Energy Physics (HEP) applications from different experiments successfully over the last 5 years using CloudScheduler, an own development by the group.  

Recently, Microsoft Azure cloud resources were integrated into the distributed cloud computing infrastructure that was designed and is operated by the group. For this integration test, up to 400 cores were used in parallel.
The Azure resources were found to be a very reliable and high-performance resource for HEP applications.

Microsoft put a video about our work online  and also mentions our cooperation in their own blog.

Grid-mapfile based authentication for DynaFed

The Dynamic Federation project (DynaFed) is a good way to federate existing Grid storage as well as making S3 based object stores available for Grid storage. To access DyanFed, the webdav/https protocol is used.

The default authentication for accessing the storage backend is based on X.509 certificates and voms proxies. In that case, the user has to use grid tools to contact a voms server to authenticate and create a X.509 proxy locally on the client machine. This proxy can then be used by tools that support it to list and access files behind DynaFed. However, that kind of authentication must be supported by the tool used. It will for example not work using a web browser.

In addition to the build-in authentication, DynaFed also supports Python based scripts to handle the authentication. One of the standard Grid authentication method is to authenticate against a so called grid-mapfile which is usually created by tools like edg-mkgridmap.
We implemented this grid-mapfile lookup into Dyn…