Running climate models on grids using G-Rex
Bretherton, D. A., Blower, J. D., Haines, K. and Smith, G.C. (2009) Running climate models on grids using G-Rex. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 367 (1890 ). 847 -853. ISSN 1364-503X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2008.0179
Compute grids are used widely in many areas of environmental science, but there has been limited uptake of grid computing by the climate modelling community, partly because the characteristics of many climate models make them difficult to use with popular grid middleware systems. In particular, climate models usually produce large volumes of output data, and running them also involves complicated workflows implemented as shell scripts. A new grid middleware system that is well suited to climate modelling applications is presented in this paper. Grid Remote Execution (G-Rex) allows climate models to be deployed as Web services on remote computer systems and then launched and controlled as if they were running on the user's own computer. Output from the model is transferred back to the user while the run is in progress to prevent it from accumulating on the remote system and to allow the user to monitor the model. G-Rex has a REST architectural style, featuring a Java client program that can easily be incorporated into existing scientific workflow scripts. Some technical details of G-Rex are presented, with examples of its use by climate modellers.