Introduction to Spatiotemporal Hybrid Cloud Service


The Spatiotemporal Hybrid Cloud Service (SHCS) is a major computing facility serving as one of the biggest of its kind for scientific research and engineering development. The facility is built and operated by the NSF SpatioTemporal innovation Center (STC).

Spatiotemporal Innovation Center (STC) is an NSF I/UCRC with the mission to build the national and international spatiotemporal infrastructure base. SHCS is a product and service from the effort of building the infrastructure base. SHCS utilizes a donation of 504-node computer cluster, purchased at $4 million, from NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS). The cluster has two 20Gbps internal connections and a 1Gbps management connection. Geographically located at George Mason University (GMU) data center, the service is shared among the three STC sites: GMU, University of California-Santa Barbara, and Harvard University. SHCS serves as an incubator for spatiotemporal innovations in a wide variety of domains including, but not limited to, engineering, public health, social dynamics, geoscience, geointelligence, neural science, and planetary science.

SHCS is a hybrid cloud computing environment built up from multiple cloud systems including OpenStack, Eucalyptus, and Amazon Web Services. Powered by Dynamic Computing Cloud (DC2®), a hybrid cloud management software, SHCS deliver researchers with limited computer knowledge or experienced users with easy access to the hybrid cloud environment through the following capabilities:

  • Consolidated Resource Management- Manage the different cloud platforms as a whole for fully manipulating cloud resources, such as VM, image, stack, VPC, S3; and allow applications running in private cloud burst into public cloud as needed.
  • User Account Management- Manage user and projects, etc., according to customer's business logic, and create comprehensive control on permissions
  • Scalable and Dynamic Resource Provision- Provision the right level of computing resources according to applications and dynamically adjust capacity levels as needs change.
  • Real-time Usage Visibility- Monitor both the physical usage of the infrastructure and the virtual resource usage, and track the billing details of users and projects.
  • Cloud-based High Performance Computing- Build virtual Hadoop, Spark clusters to facilitate computing intensive applications.

Therefore, without caring about the heterogeneity in structure and operations among different cloud platforms, users can access and use the cloud resource for their research projects very easily and efficiently.

Recently, SHCS has begun to serve the NSF EarthCube Program through the EarthCube Integration and Testbed Environment (ECITE) project, ESIP through its cloud computing cluster, NASA Planetary Defense program, and many other communities.

*Acknowledgement: SHCS is supported by NASA, NSF I/UCRC Program, GMU Leadership, and the STC IAB members including NASA NCCS, USGS, NASA Goddard, Department of State, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, USDA, Northrop Grumman, Harris, United Nations, National Administration of Surveying, Mapping, and Geo-Information, National Geomatics Center of China, Microsoft, NOAA, Eastview geospatial, and National Wildfire Service.