NSF awards Indiana University $10M to build Jetstream 2 cloud computing system

The 8 petaFLOPS system will provide virtual supercomputing power to researchers in a range of fields, including AI, social sciences and COVID-19 research

The Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University has been awarded a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation to deploy Jetstream 2, a distributed cloud computing system to support on-demand research, artificial intelligence and enhanced large-scale data analyses for the nation.

Jetstream 2's signature innovation is its ability to make high-performance computing and software easy to use by researchers who have limited experience with supercomputing systems. This is especially helpful for smaller academic communities with little previous access to such resources. IU is expected to receive nearly $20 million in total from the NSF to create, implement and operate Jetstream 2 over five years.

Illuminated blue CPU towers of the Jetstream cloud computing systemView print quality image
IU's Jetstream offers cloud-based, on-demand computing and data analysis resources to researchers in a number of fields. Photo by Emily Sterneman, Indiana University

"For over 20 years, Indiana University has continued to grow in our high-performance computing expertise, stature and service to the nation's research competitiveness," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "The NSF's renewal and expansion of Jetstream will push the total NSF investment in IU-led computing systems to over $50 million in the last decade, and we are grateful to the NSF for their confidence in IU's leadership and abilities in this vital scientific area for the United States."

"Jetstream 2 builds on the tremendous success of the original Jetstream system at IU and with our partners," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer. "It bundles computation, software and access to storage for individuals and teams of researchers who span hundreds of areas of research and who work at the frontiers of scientific inquiry. It further expands IU's many technology and research partnerships across the nation."

The current Jetstream system was led by IU in 2014 and funded as the NSF's first production science and engineering research cloud system for the nation. Jetstream has offered cloud-based, on-demand computing and data analysis resources within the national Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, known as XSEDE.

Over the years, the Jetstream system has given thousands of U.S. researchers access to a powerful cloud-based environment that complements other NSF systems -- all from a laptop or iPad -- allowing them to explore and understand immense amounts of data. Today, Jetstream is part of the COVID-19 HPC Consortium, offering resources in support of research related to finding a cure for the pandemic.

A group of seven students seated at a round table, studying with laptopsView print quality image
The Jetstream 2 project team has a goal of serving more students than any other NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure resource, leading to a diverse pool of graduates entering the STEM workforce with robust training in computational science. Here, students gain experience with Jetstream during a summer 2019 internship at IU Bloomington. Photo by Emily Sterneman, Indiana University

"We intend Jetstream 2 to be a democratizing force within the NSF ecosystem, allowing researchers and educators access to cutting-edge resources regardless of project scale," said David Y. Hancock, Jetstream 2 principal investigator and director for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure in IU's University Information Technology Services. "'AI for everyone' is a term we've coined to embrace that idea. Through the use of virtual infrastructure, we will be able to provide more access to high-end technologies to enable deep learning and artificial intelligence techniques."

"These awards represent a suite of complementary advanced computational capabilities and services aimed to empower new fundamental research in many fields," said Amy Friedlander, acting director of the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. "NSF's long-standing investments in advanced and innovative computing respond to the rapid evolution and expansion of computational- and data-intensive research being conducted across all of science and engineering.

The project team also has a goal of serving more students than any other NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure resource, leading to a diverse pool of graduates entering the STEM workforce with robust training in computational science. Jetstream 2 builds on the classroom success of Jetstream, which was used in classes to teach computational biology and chemistry, and in student projects on AI approaches to biological field research, veterinary medicine and textual analysis.

Consisting of five computational systems, Jetstream 2's primary system will be located at Indiana University, with four smaller regional systems deployed nationwide at partners Arizona State University, Cornell University, the University of Hawai'i and the Texas Advanced Computing Center. The 8 petaFLOPS cloud computing system will use next-generation AMD EPYC processors and NVIDIA A100 GPUs, and 18.5 petabytes of storage. Additional Jetstream 2 partners include the University of Arizona, Johns Hopkins University and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, with Dell Inc. as the primary supplier.

About the Pervasive Technology Institute

The Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University is a collaborative organization designed to marshal IU's computational experts and resources quickly in response to societal, research and educational needs. In partnership with UITS, the Pervasive Technology Institute also led the original Jetstream award. The institute was established in 1999 by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment and has continued to lead productive uses and applications of research technologies for over 20 years.

About University Information Technology Services

University Information Technology Services is part of the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer for Indiana University. It provides services across all IU campuses to support the mission of Indiana University.

Media Contact

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