Report from the 2016 OSG All-Hands Meeting

The 2016 OSG All Hands Meeting was held at Clemson University from March 14-17; the OSG would like to thank Jim Bottum and Marcin Ziolkowski at Clemson for organizing this meeting. The conference was held at the Madren Conference Center not far from the main campus; the school was not in session due to spring break so we did not see many students but we were surrounded by many orange Tigers (of the stuffed variety) which is the school mascot. The Madren Conference Center provided a high quality environment and the local conference team ensured a smooth operation of facilities and services which enabled a wonderful environment for collaboration and sharing of ideas. This year’s conference was attended by about 120 participants from a broad variety of academic and research institutions; see the detailed agenda and information about the venue.

On Monday, we had sessions for ATLAS and CMS where they reviewed their progress and plans. In parallel, we had a non-LHC session with reports from other experiments such as DES, DUNE, MU2E, IceCube, PHENIX, and LIGO who reported on their experiences in using OSG for their science.

Tuesday morning brought an eclectic mix of talks, ranging from a panel session on how to broaden participation in OSG, to Security best-practices and updates, and a variety of talks that highlighted how experiments are extending their OSG based computing frameworks with HPC access and Cloud Computing. On Tuesday afternoon, we covered various scientific computing experiences, new developments in DHTC technology, and methods and experiences on connecting Campus researchers to the national OSG fabric.

Wednesday’s plenary session was opened by a welcome from Jim Bottum (Clemson CIO). We learned about NSF Perspectives from Irene Qualters and her strong support of the OSG program which was followed by the science keynote talk given by Alex Feltus. Then we moved into the talks which presented the state of OSG from Frank Würthwein (the OSG Executive Director), Miron Livny (the OSG Technical Director) and Ruth Pordes (the chair of the OSG Council). Frank highlighted the work being done to enable computing for new members of the OSG family such as LIGO, MU2E, and AMS and we heard from representative of LIGO and MU2E on how their science has been enabled by access to OSG. The afternoon brought project internal updates from various functional leaders in the OSG project. The day ended with a great panel discussion on issues and future paths affecting scientific computing for researchers; many thanks to Jim Bottum (CIO of Clemson), Irene Qualters (Director of NSF-ACI), Dan Stanzione (Director of TACC), Ken Bloom (CMS), Nancy Wilkins-Diehr (SDSC Science Gateways), and Sanjay Padhi (Amazon Web Services) who served as the panelists.

Thursday morning provided a venue for hands-on training for researchers from Clemson and nearby universities who may be able to benefit from access to DHTC; this was jointly organized by OSG and ACI-REF. In the afternoon, the OSG Council conducted business with an eye to planning the future of OSG and addressing the evolving needs of stakeholders. An important event in this meeting was that Ruth Pordes transitioned the role of Chair to David Swanson; a big thank you to Ruth for all her contributions to OSG over so many years.

All in all, we had a very productive annual meeting of the OSG community designed to strengthen the sharing principle that is embodied in OSG at all levels. We look forward to another highly productive year for the project and consortium and we’ll have the next gathering of the OSG community at UCSD in Spring 2017.

~ Chander Sehgal