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Geddes composable cloud platform advancing science through national computing network

  • Science Highlights

Purdue’s new cloud-based composable platform, Geddes, is one of the top resources used by researchers on the Open Science Grid’s (OSG) Open Science Pool, a collection of computing resources available to researchers across the country.

Geddes is a composable platform that allows users to use container technology to customize resources to their needs, and complements Purdue’s community clusters, which are designed for a broad variety of traditional batch science and engineering applications. The system is named after LaNelle Geddes, a former Head of Purdue’s School of Nursing.

The Kubernetes container orchestration technology that Geddes uses makes it easy to deploy and scale systems and to pull in idle resources. Research Computing staff configured the platform to quickly and transparently harness backfill capacity within the Purdue HPC environment.

“Technologies like Kubernetes will shape the future of computing at Purdue, allowing researchers to deploy highly customizable, container based computing solutions on the Geddes platform while also providing the ability to seamlessly repurpose computing resources on demand,” says Erik Gough, a senior computational scientist for Research Computing. “We are excited to see the impact of this technology at Purdue, as well as nationally through the Open Science Pool.”

The Open Science Pool has reached record-breaking numbers recently, delivering 1.1 million core hours in a single day for the first time, and that’s in no small part thanks to Geddes, which has provided over 20 million core hours to Open Science Pool in the last six months.

Through the Open Science Pool, Geddes has been used by researchers working on projects such as:

  • Simulating antimatter particle collisions at different cosmic-ray energies
  • The Event Horizon Telescope, an international collaboration that created a virtual Earth-sized telescope to capture the first ever image of a black hole.
  • A high-intensity frontier experiment searching for physics beyond the Standard Model

At Purdue, Geddes is still in early user testing and is expected to enter production in the fall. Campus researchers who are interested in gaining access to it now should email

Geddes is supported by a $400,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF award number #2018926). Preston Smith, executive director of Research Computing, is the PI on the project and Gough is a co-PI. Other co-PIs on the grant are Norbert Neumeister, professor of physics and astronomy, Jennifer Wisecaver, assistant professor of biochemistry, and Thomas Hacker, professor of computer and information technology.

To learn more about Research Computing resources, contact Smith, or 49-49729.

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