DataCutter and A Client Interface for the Storage Resource Broker with DataCutter Services

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The continuing increase in the capabilities of high performance computers and continued decreases in the cost of secondary and tertiary storage systems is making it increasingly feasible to generate and archive very large (e.g. petabyte and larger) datasets. Applications are also increasingly likely to make use of archived data obtained by different types of sensors. Such sensors include imaging devices deployed on satellites and aircraft, microscopy related imagery and radiology related imagery. Simulation or sensor datasets generated or acquired by one group may need to be accessed over a wide-area network by other groups. Datasets frequently describe data associated with collections of very large structured or unstructured grids where each grid point is associated with several variables. Applications frequently need only to obtain portions of a dataset. Required data may correspond to a particular region in a multidimensional space. The application may need to access all data associated in a multidimensional region or it may need only certain variable values at a subsampled set of spatial locations. In addition, in some cases, applications may require data products obtained by aggregating data in one way or another. For instance, a user might require time or space averaged data. This document describes the design of a middleware infrastructure, called DataCutter, that enables subsetting and user-defined filtering of multi-dimensional datasets stored in archival storage systems across a wide-area network. We also describe a client API for Storage Resource Broker (SRB) clients, which allows SRB clients to carry out subsetting and filtering of datasets stored through the SRB. This API uses a prototype implementation of the DataCutter indexing and filtering services. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-2000-26)