Data is the lifeblood of research. Moving that data between researchers is vital to ensuring continuity of research — especially in the case of remote collaboration.

With Globus, a fast, secure and reliable data management platform, UAB IT Research Computing can help seamlessly transfer large amounts of data between researchers, with faster results than traditional methods such as FTP.

One example is a recent collaboration between two researchers in the School of Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Yvonne J.K. Edwards, Ph.D., associate professor and director of Bioinformatics, and Narendra Wajapeyee, Ph.D., professor and vice chairman for research.

William S. Monroe, scientist with Research Computing, supported the collaborators in transferring more than 400 GB of raw data and, upon analysis, more than 300 GB of results using the Globus platform.

So how did they do it? Using Globus, eight fastq files — which contain biological sequences — were shared from Dr. Wajapeyee’s home office to a secure file share on the Cheaha supercomputer to which only Dr. Edwards has access. Dr. Edwards was then able to analyze the data from her home office using bioinformatics pipelines on Cheaha.

“If any interruptions occur, Globus continues to monitor and support the transfer to promote a robust transfer. On the other hand, given a network interruption, traditional FTP would fail. Also, if the network can support it, the speed of Globus can be much faster.”

- William S. Monroe, Research Computing Scientist

Full support for Globus was announced at the UAB IT Research Computing town hall in September 2019.

“Research Computing is using Globus to support the continued health of research,” said Ralph Zottola, Ph.D., assistant vice president for Research Computing. “Tools such as these are only possible through the support of (UAB Vice President and CIO Curt) Carver and UAB IT, as well as (UAB President Ray) Watts and UAB leadership.”

Greg Nawrocki, director of customer engagement for Globus, said UAB IT has been a “model subscriber” in offering Globus to support researchers.

“We are thrilled that Globus has been a key component for UAB researchers to remotely manage their data in the current state of sheltering in place,” Nawrocki said.

Research Computing staff have been fully operational while working remotely since UAB’s limited business operations began.