Apache Airavata Graduates to Top-Level Project

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) announced that its Airavata project has graduated from the incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP).

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced that Apache Airavata, an open-source framework for managing small to large-scale applications, has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP).

The Airavata project was initiated at the National Science Foundation (NSF). It is an open-source software framework used for executing and managing small to large-scale applications and workflows across local resources, computational grids and the cloud.

"Being a TLP demonstrates Apache Airavata's commitment to ‘The Apache Way’ and the project's ability to self-govern, and be a part of the broader ASF community," said Chris Mattmann, vice president of Apache Object Oriented Data Technology (OODT) and member of the Apache Tika Project Management Committee. "We are excited to continue working to integrate Apache OODT and Airavata and to work together to leverage Apache Tika for data understanding, classification and extraction in both projects."

Airavata was designed to abstract out the complexities in accessing computational resources. It provides APIs, server-side tools and graphical user interfaces to construct, execute, control and manage long-running applications and workflows on distributed resources, including local clusters, supercomputers, national grids, and academic and commercial clouds.

"Airavata was initially developed by the National Science Foundation funded collaboration—Linked Environment for Atmospheric Discovery, for creating cyber-infrastructure systems to enable faster-than-real-time severe weather forecasts," said Suresh Marru, vice president of Apache Airavata. "Apache Airavata has evolved into a truly open and independent platform created to interface with emerging distributed computing paradigms, including high performance, high throughput and on-demand computing."

According to Apache officials, the strategy of the Airavata framework is a minimalist architectural design—a conceptually simple to understand modular, componentized software—that is easy to install, maintain and use. This service-oriented architecture helps Apache Airavata blend into diverse software systems.

Early adopters of Apache Airavata include Science Gateways, which integrate applications, workflows, data collections with computational resources like Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Additional users include ParamChem, the UltaScan Laboratory Information Management System, the Leadership Class Configuration Interaction Project and the BioVLab Project.

"Sustainability of science gateways actually can have a very significant impact on science," said Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, co-director of the XSEDE Extended Support for Communities program, which includes gateways that interface to XSEDE resources. "This important leadership in the area of open-source, community-developed code can be a model for many other scientific software projects. It's the sustainable projects with long-term viability."

Developed on open standards, Apache Airavata is collaboratively supported by individuals from diverse institutes, corporations and noncommercial organizations from around the world. The project also is seeded by code donations from Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute.

"The Airavata project began life as part of the NSF-funded Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery project," said Marlon Pierce, principal investigator on the NSF-funded Open Gateway Computing Environments project and Science Gateway Group Lead at Indiana University, in a statement. "We worked hard through additional NSF funding of the Open Gateway Computing Environments project to generalize the workflow software to many science (and broader) domains. For us, the Apache Software Foundation represents an important open community model as well as open-source model for diversely developed, sustainable scientific software. We hope to convince more in our community to follow suit."

Shahani Markus Weerawarana, visiting lecturer at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, said, "With its graduation as a TLP, Apache Airavata is trail-blazing a path in science gateways research and development by embracing the 'Apache Way' and thereby ensuring wide international participation of software engineers, scientists, researchers and students."

Since entering the Apache Incubator in May 2011, the Apache Airavata project has successfully produced several code releases in preparation of its first production-ready, v1.0 release.