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Virtual Infrastructure Twins: Software Testing Platforms for Computing-Instrument Ecosystems...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Accelerating Science and Engineering Discoveries Through Integrated Research Infrastructure for Experiment, Big Data, Modeling and Simulation
Publication Date
Page Numbers
155 to 172
Publisher Location
Cham, Switzerland
Conference Name
Smoky Mountains Conference 2022 (SMC)
Conference Location
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

Science ecosystems are being built by federating computing systems and instruments located at geographically distributed sites over wide-area networks. These computing-instrument ecosystems are expected to support complex workflows that incorporate remote, automated AI-driven science experiments. Their realization, however, requires various designs to be explored and software components to be developed, in order to support the orchestration of distributed computations and experiments. It is often too expensive, infeasible, or disruptive for the entire ecosystem to be available during the typically long software development and testing periods. We propose a Virtual Infrastructure Twin (VIT) of the ecosystem that emulates its network and computing components, and incorporates its instrument software simulators. It provides a software environment nearly identical to the ecosystem to support early development and testing, and design space exploration. We present a brief overview of previous digital infrastructure twins that culminated in the VIT concept, including (i) the virtual science network environment for developing software-defined networking solutions, and (ii) the virtual federated science instrument environment for testing the federation software stack and remote instrument control software. We briefly describe VITs for Nion microscope steering and access to GPU systems.