File Transfer Service

Zsolt MolnarZsolt Molnar | | As employee
Cover image for File Transfer Service

I am thrilled to share my involvement as a developer and team leader in developing the early stage of the File Transfer Service (FTS) at CERN. As part of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) infrastructure, FTS is crucial in distributing the vast amount of data generated by the Large Hadron Collider, enabling groundbreaking research and fostering global scientific collaboration.

At the heart of FTS lies the mission to provide an open-source, reliable, and efficient solution for large-scale data transfers. As team leader and developer, I actively contributed to the project's success, focusing on enhancing the service's features, optimizing performance, and ensuring its user-friendly nature.

One of the critical strengths of FTS is its simplicity. We developed intuitive user interfaces like Python CLI, Python Client, WebFTS, and Web Monitoring, making it easy for researchers to submit transfers easily. This allowed scientists to focus on their research without worrying about complex data-handling processes.

Moreover, FTS offers exceptional reliability through checksums and retries for each transfer, ensuring data integrity and minimizing the risk of data loss during transfers. The service's flexibility is another highlight, supporting multiple protocols like Webdav/HTTPS, GridFTP, xroot, and SRM, which enabled seamless data movement between different infrastructures and research institutions.

As part of our commitment to maximizing network efficiency, FTS incorporates intelligence through parallel transfer optimization, enabling us to utilize network resources optimally without overwhelming storage systems. Integrating priorities/activities support for transfer classification further facilitated efficient resource allocation.

In 2021, FTS achieved remarkable milestones, transferring over 1.0 exabytes of data and 1.15 billion files across the WLCG infrastructure. With 24 instances and serving 37 virtual organizations, FTS emerged as an essential component of the scientific data movement landscape.

Critical components like WebFTS, FTS-REST Python API, and Real-Time Monitoring were pivotal in ensuring smooth data transfer and management operations. WebFTS empowered users to invoke reliable, managed data transfers, while FTS-REST provided a versatile Python API for easy integration with various frameworks.

Real-Time Monitoring, with its Grafana, Kibana, and ftsmon/Kibana profiles, allowed end-users, researchers, and service managers to monitor transfer progress and system performance closely.

The Optimizer feature further streamlined transfers between endpoints with good reliability and performance by default, eliminating the need for extensive configuration efforts.

As a team leader and developer, I worked alongside talented professionals and skilled C++/Python developers. Our collaboration and the support of the entire FTS team at CERN contributed to the service's excellence and widespread adoption across various research organizations in the High Energy Physics domain and beyond.

In recent news, FTS has joined forces with the XDC Project, solidifying its commitment to advancing data movement and Quality of Service (QoS) management in scientific data infrastructures. This exciting partnership further highlights the significance and potential of FTS in empowering global scientific endeavors.

I am proud to have played a significant role in the development and success of CERN's File Transfer Service, and my experiences at CERN have undoubtedly honed my skills as a developer and leader. As I continue my journey, I remain passionate about contributing to innovative projects that foster scientific progress and drive transformative change.

  • C++
  • python
  • linux
  • vim