mc2 Platform, the Science Gateway Engine

mc2 is a platform that allows scientific application developers to rapidly implement and launch new science gateways. mc2 implements a gateway engine that can be configured by a small set of XML files. Such files completely define the desired functionality of a specific science gateway, which can be provided to the user through either Web-based or command-line interfaces. The gateway engine also offers other features not commonly found in related technologies, such as file sharing, data provenance tracking, and restricted anonymous access to underlying computational resources.

From the point of view of a scientific application developer, mc2 is a simple (Web) application that needs an ordinary Java Virtual Machine (and also a Servlet container in the case of Web-based interfaces) for its deployment. As a minimum, the mc2 platform creates instances of science gateways that offer user interfaces for:

  1. Uploading, downloading, viewing and editing files in the project area of the users.
  2. Submitting experiments, including validation tips on how to fill out the required experiment parameters.
  3. Monitoring experiments, indicating their unique identifiers, the computational resources in which the experiments are running, and when the latter are submitted, among other information.

Currently, the mc2 platform is built upon the basic services for access control (OpenBus), execution management (OpenDreams) and data management (ProjectService) provided by the CSGrid middleware.

The mc2 platform is currently being used in the EUBrazilCC project to address scientific challenges related to the Use case 2 on Cardiovascular Simulation Services. The platform will allow the configuration and submission of coupled simulations of a heart model (Alya-RED, developed at BSC) and a vascular model (ADAN, developed at LNCC) through either Web-based or command-line interfaces. Two scenarios are foreseen in this Use case: in the first one, large-scale cases are solved by using the HPC infrastructure available for the project; in the second one, a large number of problems are simulated on a coarse level—by using the private IaaS providers available for the project—to explore the space of certain parameters of interest.
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