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 IU Trident Indiana University

IU Electron Microscopy Center - Scalable Compute Archive

Project Leads: Arvind Gopu, UITS Research Technologies

Research Storage, High Performance File Systems, High Performance Computing, Scientific Application and Performance Tuning, UITS Research Technologies

Research made possible by: Big Red II, Karst, Scholarly Data Archive, Data Capacitor

Screenshot showing Search and Image Explorer in EMC-SCA
Figure 1. Screenshot showing Search and Image Explorer in EMC-SCA

The Electron Microscopy Center Scalable Compute Archive (EMC-SCA) has been in full production operations since June 2014. It has been serving as the primary source of searching for and download microscopy images taken by users of the IU EMCenter.

EMC-SCA has enabled individual users of the EMCenter to be able to access their data at any time via a secure portal without having to learn about use of Scholarly Data Archive (SDA), Data Capacitor (DC), Karst or Big Red II. It has enabled the EMCenter Operations group to focus more on the instrument and data quality, without having to worry about secure archival of data.

EMC-SCA is designed, with periodic user feedback, to be a compute archive that has built-in frameworks including: (1) Collections that allow a user to create logical collations of data products intended for publication, further research, instructional purposes, or to execute data processing tasks (2) Image Explorer which enables real-time interactive visual analysis of data products within an HTML5 capable web browser (3) For future growth: a workflow framework which enables rapid integration of data processing pipelines on an associated compute cluster and users to request such pipelines to be executed on their data via custom user interfaces. EMC-SCA is an offshoot project based on the One Degree Imager - Pipeline, Portal, and Archive (ODI-PPA) project, and is made up of several light-weight services connected by a message bus; the web portal built using Twitter/Bootstrap, AngularJS and jQuery JavaScript libraries, and backend services written in PHP (
using the Zend framework) and Python; it leverages supercomputing and storage resources at Indiana University.


The Scientific Applications and Performance Tuning (SciAPT) group delivers and supports software tools that promote effective and efficient use of IU’s advanced cyberinfrastructure – which in turn improves research and enables discoveries.

The Research Storage team of Research Technologies is responsible for the administration and support of the Research File System and the Scholarly Data Archive, which provide interactive and archival storage, respectively, for Indiana University faculty, staff, and research students.

The High Performance File System group provides high-speed, disk-based storage of data for IU researchers and operates the Data Capacitor II and the Data Capacitor Wide Area Network (DC-WAN).

The High Performance Systems (HPS) group implements, operates, and supports some of the fastest supercomputers in the world – IU’s Big Red II, the Quarry cluster, and the large memory Mason system – in order to advance Indiana University's mission in research, training, and engagement in the state.

NSF GSS Codes:

Primary Field: Microbiology, Immunology, and Virology (611)

Secondary Field: Computer Science (401) - Information Science/Studies