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Legion is a framework for building a Science Portal, it provides an abstraction layer on top of computing backends allowing easy access to these resources. In general terms it is a web interface generator and host that enables researchers to access Grid Computing services easily:
- Custom task submission forms
- Task state monitoring
- Task result retrieval
This is done with minimal intervention of the Grid admin an thus provides an abstraction layer both for the scientist and for the infrastructure people. For more information go to Legion Features.
Legion Framework currently works with Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) but it is feasible to integrate it with other Grid Management Systems given that the corresponding module is developed. A “Legion Web Services” layer should be built from a WSDL specification in order to interact with other systems. For more details have a look at the Legion Architecture section.
Legion Framework was developed to be part of the Legion System, a BOINC based Desktop Grid deployed at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. But since it is not dependent on our architecture, it could be deployed everywhere.
If you have further questions please drop us an email to legion * at * pucp.edu.pe
Why Legion would be a useful tool at my University/Institution?
Today, research centers around the world require running intensive calculations for solving complex problems in many areas such as climate prediction, high energy physics, data mining, protein folding, validation of statistical models, etc. More often the computing power requirements to perform these tasks are beyond the capabilities of a personal computer. In order to bypass this restriction, it is mandatory to count upon a large-scale infrastructure. Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) Desktop Grid should be considered as a feasible alternative “supercomputer”, especially in a constrained-resource scenario or where the required computational power exceeds the limit of the gamma of affordable supercomputers.
Grid management systems such as BOINC are geared to effectively handle task queuing, task distribution in nodes, execution and retrieval of task results; on the other side they are not easy to use. The latter particularly represents a barrier and limits a wider adoption because researchers spend time on the particularities of the grid system instead of working on their core research. The difficulty mainly lies in the complex procedures required to send calculations and retrieve results. Therefore, a framework that successfully hides the complexity of the grid, exposes utilities for managing tasks and allows to be accessed from any location is highly desirable. This is what Legion Framework does: it is an abstraction layer on top of BOINC, allowing multi-user access to the Grid.