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Attention: Research Computing Documentation has Moved

Please use the new documentation url https://docs.rc.uab.edu/ for all Research Computing documentation needs.

As a result of this move, we have deprecated use of this wiki for documentation. We are providing read-only access to the content to facilitate migration of bookmarks and to serve as an historical record. All content updates should be made at the new documentation site. The original wiki will not receive further updates.

Thank you,

The Research Computing Team

UABgrid started as a pilot project of UAB IT to develop a research computing system that provides researchers access to analysis and data resources. UABgrid leverages the federated systems model to harness on- and off-campus tools and services into a common framework for collaboration. Our current efforts are focused on expanding compute capacity and supporting data sharing.


Development of UABgrid has gone through several stages since its inception. A brief time-line provides an overview of this history:

  • 2002-2003 - Concept for campus grid infrastructure emerges from participation in NMI Testbed
  • 2003-2006 - NSF funded project to explore construction of federated systems environments using NMI tools and open source software leads to development of myVocs and openidp.org
  • 2007 - Launch of UABgrid Pilot to explore production use of federated systems environment
  • 2008 - Testing migration large-scale HPC work flows to the grid; expanding pilot users
  • 2009 - Development expands to support key UAB campus initiatives of caBIG and CTSA


Gemmmill, Robinson, Scavo, Bangalore Cross-domain authorization for federated virtual organizations using the myVocs collaboration environment (2009)

Robinson, Gemmill, Joshi, Bangalore, et. al. Web-Enabled Grid Authentication in a Non-Kerberos Environment (2005)


Much of the work related to and leading to the development of UABgrid has been documented at campus, regional, national and international venues. A time-line of related presentations follows:





  • October 2009 UAB National Cyber-security Awareness Day (no link available)
  • October 2009 UAB HPC Bootcamp Scaling HPC Applications using the Grid (no link yet)






The development of the research computing system has been funded primarily by the UAB's Office of the Vice President for Information Technology. Initial funding to explore the development of federated systems was provided by a 3-year NSF grant NMI Enabled Open Source Collaboration Tools for Virtual Organizations (2003-2006).

We welcome participation in this project and engagement for new funding opportunities.

Thank you to all supporters of this project.

Related Links

Development of the UABgrid research computing system has benefited from our engagement in a number external projects:

  • Campus participation in caBIG and CTSA were major drivers in the development of the campus research computing system pilot. The requirements identified by these projects influenced feature development.
  • SURAgrid - UAB is a founding member of the SURAgrid collaboration. SURAgrid is a collaborative effort to expand the availability of high-performance computing resources at member campuses across the Southeastern United States and beyond. SURAgrid has developed a governance structure and 4-year strategic plan (2008-2012) for HPC Cyberinfrastructure development at member campuses and originated as voluntary continuation of the campus grid dialogs begun during the NMI Testbed. Participation in SURAgrid has been key to developing understanding of research requirements, gathering requirements for system development, and expanding our engagement across the region.
  • Open Science Grid - OSG is an operational grid infrastructure that supports the exchange of high-throughput computing cycles across a large pool of computational resources. Engagement with the OSG Engage project is leading the expansion of compute resources available the campus research computing system environment UABgrid.
  • Internet2 - Internet2 is a national organization that provides high-performance networks to institutions and has lead the development of web-based components for federated systems, most notably Shibboleth and InCommon. The projects that helped develop the software used in the core of UABgrid was a leading adopter of Shibboleth-based authentication and a helped pioneer integration with grid resources in the context of myVocs and GridShib integration.
  • The D-Grid Interoperability and Integration of VO-Management (IOVM) Technologies effort evaluated several international VO management technologies in as part of their effort to redesign the VO management solution of D-Grid. Their June 2007 Work Package 1: Evaluation of international Shibboleth-based VO Management Projects is a comparative analysis of key technologies including myVocs, VOMS, MAMS, Switch, and PERMIS. This analysis provided helpful feedback on the benefits and limitations of myVocs and plan improvements to our research computing system.
  • openidp.org an open registration provider to facilitate participation in collaborations using Shibboleth was developed as part of the initial federated systems environment and is still used today for testing and light-weight identity needs.
  • myVocs is the core of the federated systems framework developed as part of the research into building campus grids and collaboration environments. This software packaged as myVocs-box forms the core of today's UABgrid Pilot environment.