New release of GSI-OpenSSH includes high-performance networking patches

TeraGrid partners collaborate to improve network performance while preserving security.

PITTSBURGH, January 24, 2006 — The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) have collaborated to release a new version of GSI-OpenSSH that provides a substantial speedup in performance.

GSI-OpenSSH is a patch to OpenSSH maintained by NCSA; the patch adds support for Grid Security Infrastructure (GSI) authentication to SSH, the much-used security-enhanced protocol for network communications.

Because SSH traditionally has been more focused on providing security, it does not always provide peak network performance. So members of the PSC network group created a software patch to overcome this bottleneck. In many circumstances, this patch, called HPN-SSH , can give more than a 10-fold speedup in performance.

HPN-SSH implements run-time buffer sizing to eliminate flow control buffer bottlenecks for scp/sftp transfers on high-latency bandwidth links. They also add the option to disable encryption of scp transfers for improved performance.

The inclusion of the hpn-ssh functionality in GSI-SSH had been requested by both the NEESit and Virtual Data Toolkit teams. GSI-OpenSSH will be available in the next release of the Globus Toolkit and will be available on TeraGrid systems this spring.

"This is a nice example of NCSA and PSC working together to deliver useful cyberinfrastructure to scientific communities," said NCSA senior research scientist Jim Basney.

"Working with NCSA and OpenSSH has been a great experience," said PSC network engineer Chris Rapier. "Together we've been able to give users an easy-to-use and secure tool for rapidly transferring large amounts of data over the TeraGrid network." Cisco Systems, Inc. supported PSC's work on HPN-SSH.

About NCSA
NCSA(TM) (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) is a unique state-federal partnership to develop and deploy national-scale cyberinfrastructure that advances science and engineering. Located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, NCSA is one of the leading National Science Foundation-supported supercomputing centers. Additional support comes from the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois, private sector partners, and other federal agencies. For more information, see http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu.

About PSC
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Company. Established in 1986, PSC is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry, and is a leading partner in the TeraGrid, the National Science Foundation's cyberinfrastructure program. For more information, see http://www.psc.edu.

About TeraGrid
The TeraGrid, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is a partnership of people and resources that provides a comprehensive cyberinfrastructure to enable discovery in U.S. science and engineering research. Through high-performance network connections, the TeraGrid integrates a distributed set of very-high capability computational, data management and visualization resources to make U.S. research more productive. With Science Gateway collaborations and education and mentoring programs, the TeraGrid also connects and broadens scientific communities. For more information, see http://www.teragrid.org