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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Spatial Modeling of Agricultural Watersheds: Water and Nutrient Management and Targeted Conservation Effects at Field to Watershed Scales

Location: Agricultural Systems Research Unit

Title: The cloud services innovation platform- enabling service-based environmental modelling using infrastructure-as-a-service cloud computing

Authors
item Lloyd, Wesley -
item David, Olaf -
item Lyon, Jim -
item Rojas, Kenneth -
item Ascough, James
item Green, Timothy
item Carlson, Jack -

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2012
Publication Date: December 6, 2012
Citation: Lloyd, W., David, O., Lyon, J., Rojas, K.W., Ascough II, J.C., Green, T.R., Carlson, J.R. 2012. The cloud services innovation platform- enabling service-based environmental modelling using infrastructure-as-a-service cloud computing. In: Seppelt, R., Voinov, A.A., Lange, S., and Bankamp, D., editors, Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, Managing Resources of a Limited Planet: Pathways and Visions under Uncertaintly, July 1-5, 2012, Leipzig, Germany. p.1208-1215.

Interpretive Summary: In this paper, we present the Cloud Services Innovation Platform (CSIP), an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud application architecture. CSIP is used to prototype development of distributed and scalable environmental modelling services and aims to provide modelling as a service to support both interactive (synchronous) and batch (asynchronous) modelling. CSIP enables cloud-based computing resources to be harnessed for both new and existing environmental models supporting the disaggregation of work into sub-tasks which execute in parallel using a scalable number of virtual machines. This paper presents CSIP’s implementation using the RUSLE2 model as a prototype model. RUSLE2 model service benchmarks are presented to demonstrate performance gains from using cloud resources. We also provide benchmarks for virtualization overhead observed using popular virtual machine hypervisors and demonstrate how application profile characteristics significantly impact performance when virtualized.

Technical Abstract: Service oriented architectures allow modelling engines to be hosted over the Internet abstracting physical hardware configuration and software deployments from model users. Many existing environmental models are deployed as desktop applications running on user's personal computers (PCs). Migration to service-based modelling centralizes the modelling functions to service hosts on the Internet. Users no longer require high-end PCs to run models and model updates encapsulating science advances can be disseminated more rapidly by hosting the modelling functions centrally via an Internet host instead of requiring software updates to user's PCs. In this paper, we present the Cloud Services Innovation Platform (CSIP), an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud application architecture, used to prototype development of distributed and scalable environmental modelling services. CSIP aims to provide modelling as a service to support both interactive (synchronous) and batch (asynchronous) modelling. CSIP enables cloud-based computing resources to be harnessed for both new and existing environmental models supporting the disaggregation of work into sub-tasks which execute in parallel using a scalable number of virtual machines. This paper presents CSIP’s implementation using the RUSLE2 model as a prototype model. RUSLE2 model service benchmarks are presented to demonstrate performance gains from using cloud resources. We also provide benchmarks for virtualization overhead observed using popular virtual machine hypervisors and demonstrate how application profile characteristics significantly impact performance when virtualized.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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