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AARNet and Globus working together to make data sharing easier for Australian researchers
09 December, 2021

AARNet and Globus working together to make data sharing easier for Australian researchers

AARNet and Globus are rolling out a pilot program to allow researchers to quickly share data between institutions in Australia and around the world.

AARNet and Globus have joined forces to roll out a pilot program that aims to boost the speed at which important research data can be shared between institutions in Australia and around the world.

Globus is a research data management service that streamlines big data transfer requirements of researchers. Using the Globus web app, researchers can quickly and efficiently migrate large datasets off instruments into cloud storage environments, and package up large volume of data up for secure transfers over high-speed networks such as AARNet, Australia’s national research network, to other sites connected to Globus around the world.

The Research Computing Centre at the University of Queensland (UQ) is participating in the program. Dr Steffen Bollmann, a Research Fellow in UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, is already seeing the benefits that this tool provides for researchers.

“With the secure and fast data sharing enabled by Globus we can transfer large data sets both nationally and internationally, which made collaborations easier and faster,” said Dr Bollmann. “This frees up significant time to focus on data analysis rather than spending time on managing data transfers.”

AARNet is working with UQ, as well as several other universities across Australia, to deploy Globus as a solution to challenges many researchers experience when moving large-scale data sets around. AARNet is funding the Globus licences for the pilot program, as well as assisting with optimising both network performance and the new hardware the universities require for implementing Globus.

Prior to the introduction of Globus at UQ, in order to share data with international collaborators, Dr Bollmann would have to courier physical hard drives containing his research data, incurring expensive courier fees and the very real risk of data loss in transit.

“Before Globus we transferred the data via ‘rsync’ and ‘ssh’ connections, which was quite fragile, or we had to physically courier hard drives, which also wasn’t ideal. Since the data sets are often multiple tens of gigabytes, existing cloud services are also not feasible.”

UQ has integrated Globus into its MeDiCI data fabric, allowing researchers to move data seamlessly into and out of existing UQ collections.

Globus is one of the most widely-used research data transfer services globally, used by thousands of researchers at more than 1500 Globus-connected institutions in 80 countries.