The NCAR Research Data Archive (RDA; http://rda.ucar.edu) contains a large and diverse collection of meteorological and oceanographic observations, operational and reanalysis outputs, and remote sensing datasets to support atmospheric and geoscience research. The RDA contains greater than 600 dataset collections which support the varying needs of a diverse user community. The number of RDA users is increasing annually, and the most popular method used to access the RDA data holdings is through web based protocols, such as wget and cURL based scripts. In the year 2014, 11,000 users downloaded greater than 1.1 petabytes of data from the RDA, and customized data products were prepared for more than 45,000 user-driven requests.
In order to further support this increase in web download usage, the RDA is implementing the Globus data transfer service (www.globus.org) to provide a GridFTP data transfer option for the user community. The Globus service is broadly scalable, has an easy to install client, is sustainably supported, and provides a robust, efficient, and reliable data transfer option for RDA users. This poster highlights the main functionality and usefulness of the Globus data transfer service for accessing the RDA holdings.
The Globus data transfer service, developed and supported by the Computation Institute at The University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, uses the GridFTP as a fast, secure, and reliable method for transferring data between two endpoints. In the RDA use cases, the access endpoint is created on the RDA data server at NCAR. The data user defines the receiving endpoint for the data transfer, which can be the main file system at a host institution, a personal work station, or laptop. Once initiated, the data transfer runs as an unattended background process by Globus, and Globus ensures that the transfer is accurately fulfilled. Users can monitor the data transfer progress on the Globus web interface and optionally receive an email notification once it is complete. Globus also provides a REST API and command-line interface to support scripted transfers, which can be useful when embedded in data processing workflows.
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