AliEn: The ALICE Environment

The AliEn project is a Grid middleware solution which offers transparent access to distributed computing and storage resources all over the world and constitutes the primary production environment for simulation, reconstruction, and analysis of physics data of the ALICE experiment at CERN. In 2010, AliEn was deployed on more than 85 sites all over the world which contributed more than 30,000 compute nodes and 200PB of storage.

My work on the AliEn project involved (1) identifying vulnerabilities in the file access protocol, and (2) implementing a user authorization mechanism to resolve the discovered vulnerabilities, and (3) on just in time job and data assignment using pilot jobs to intelligently make decisions of job assignment based on data locality. The result of this project was a more secure and revised design, that complies with atomic and consistent transactions across distributed storage elements and allows for accountable, authentic, and traceable file operations. These changes were incorporated in versions 2.18, 2.19 and 2.20 of AliEn.

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