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Manuscript Title: Virtualizing Access to Scientific Applications with the Application Hosting Environment
Authors: S.J. Zasada, P.V. Coveney
Program title: Application Hosting Environment 2.0
Catalogue identifier: AEEJ_v1_0
Distribution format: tar.gz
Journal reference: Comput. Phys. Commun. 180(2009)2513
Programming language: Perl (server), Java (Client).
Computer: x86.
Operating system: Linux (Server), Linux/Windows/MacOS (Client).
RAM: 134217728 (server), 67108864 (client) bytes
Keywords: grid middlware, user interface, grid client.
PACS: 07.05.Wr, 89.20.Ff, 01.50.hv.
Classification: 6.5.

External routines: VirtualBox (server), Java (client)

Nature of problem:
The middleware that makes grid computing possible has been found by many users to be too unwieldy, and presents an obstacle to use rather than providing assistance [1,2]. Such problems are compounded when one attempts to harness the power of a grid, or a federation of different grids, rather than just a single resource on the grid.

Solution method:
To address the above problem, we have developed AHE, a lightweight interface, designed to simplify the process of running scientific codes on a grid of HPC and local resources. AHE does this by introducing a layer of middleware between the user and the grid, which encapsulates much of the complexity associated with launching grid applications.

Unusual features:
The server is distributed as a VirtualBox virtual machine. VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org) must be downloaded and installed in order to run the AHE server virtual machine. Details of how to do this are given in the AHE 2.0 Quick Start Guide.

Running time:
Not applicable

[1] J. Chin and P. V. Coveney, Towards Tractable Toolkits for the Grid: a Plea for Lightweight, Useable Middleware, NeSC Technical Report, 2004, http://nesc.ac.uk/technical_papers/UKeS-2004-01.pdf.
[2] P. V. Coveney, R. S. Saksena, S. J. Zasada, M. McKeown, and S. Pickles, The Application Hosting Environment: Lightweight Middleware for Grid-based Computational Science, Computer Physics Communications, 176 (2007) 406-418.