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CSTCloud 2.0

Prioritized as one of the implementation actions of China's National Informatization Plan 2016-2020, China Science and Technology Cloud (CSTCloud) aims to develop next-generation e-infrastructure for research to serve innovation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The initiative was announced by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) during the Fourth World Internet Conference. Implemented by the academy’s Computer Network Information Center, substantial progress has been made on service framework and technologies, tailored use cases driven by key innovation challenges and SDGs, and multilateral cooperation for interconnection and interoperability.

The 2.0 version of CSTCloud pools together 52 platforms and more than 1000 research software, delivering digital services for compute- and data-intensive research with the total capacities of core network switching, computing and cloud storage reaching 100G (121G domestic bandwidth, 113G international bandwidth), 315 PF and 150 PB respectively. To support seamless services on top, CSTCloud has realized the integration and cloudification of high-speed research networks, massive data storage, large-scale computational analysis, research software, scientific data and other digital resources. To facilitate the migration to the cloud, technologies have been developed to support integrated network and cloud services such as high-speed virtual private network for research, unified scheduling and sharing of heterogeneous computing resources, distributed data storage, and unified authentication and authorization across multiple resources.

CSTCloud Services

To provide one-stop portal services, CSTCloud has developed technologies for unified authentication and authorization supporting one million registered users from the research communities to apply and acquire diversified services with a few clicks. A technology protocol stack with dynamic aggregated resources was established to support scalable and flexible cloud services. To facilitate the transfer, storage and analysis of massive data produced by large research facilities and international flagship programs, CSTCloud developed integrated solutions for data-intensive research supported by technologies for hierarchical management and distributed storage of metadata describing EB-level research data, agile wide-area virtual private network, optimized congestion control algorithm and multi-channel concurrent transfer protocol.

CSTCloud Use Cases

Concerning community-based use cases, CSTCloud has supported research teams on key innovation topics ranging from small particles to the big universe. CSTCloud provided virtual private network transfer and remote data recovery services for LHCONE project of CAS Institute of High Energy Physics and the Space Science Pilot Project. To support pulsar search and identification at Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope, CSTCloud provided cloud computing environment and the platform for transferring and distributing massive astronomical data.

As the pandemic highlights the role of science in serving society, CSTCloud strengthens its support to interdisciplinary research addressing health and other challenges related to SDGs. China National GeneBank DataBase (CNGBdb) was connected and supported with more advanced data transfer and application capacities. Racing against the clock to fight COVID-19, CSTCloud worked with CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica on antiviral drug screening platform, and developed the parallel distribution module of the high-performance computing application middleware to mitigate bottlenecks such as unbalanced computing task load and low distribution efficiency. The platform completed a virtual drug screening and evaluation task in 120 hours, selecting 30 candidate components from around 70,000 compounds. Extensive supercomputing resources (256 CPU cores, 4TB memory, 5TP at peak) have been allocated to support COVID-19 research at CAS Institute of Microbiology in various areas such as virus genomes, metatranscriptomes, metagenomics splicing, pandemic spreading dynamics simulation and sequence data mining.

Towards the Global Open Science Cloud

To support open science with e-infrastructures and services, CSTCloud and its partners proposed the idea of Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) during the 2019 Conference of Committee on Data (CODATA) of International Science Council in Beijing. GOSC aims to develop inclusive, interconnected and interoperable e-infrastructures to support cross-border research activities and long-term preservation of research products. A recent workshop in November 2020 connected more than 80 experts from international organizations and five continents to address topics related to GOSC policies, research priorities, technical challenges and funding opportunities. With seeds sowed throughout the year, CSTCloud will work closely with CODATA, EGI, GÉANT and other stakeholders to discuss the framework, develop cross-continental testbed, and design prioritized tasks with potential use cases driven by challenges from space physics, molecular biology, big Earth for SDGs and other data-intensive research communities.

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