Topaz: A Firefox protocol extension for GridFTP

Richard Zamudio, University of Texas at El Paso


As grid infrastructures mature, an increasing challenge is to provide end-user scientists with intuitive interfaces to computational services, data management capabilities, and visualization tools. One novel approach, being successfully applied in the domain of Computational Chemistry, is to leverage the capabilities of the Mozilla framework to provide rich end-user tools that seamlessly integrate with remote resources such as web/grid services and data repositories. The Mozilla framework provides much of the infrastructure to build rich end-user applications, but lacks the capability to integrate with Grid protocols and APIs. This thesis presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of Topaz, a protocol extension that provides GridFTP functionality to the popular Firefox browser. Topaz provides end-user scientists with a familiar and user-friendly interface with which to access arbitrary GridFTP servers by providing upload and download functionalities as well as the ability to obtain and manage grid security certificates. Since it is integrated into the Firefox browser, Topaz introduces an additional layer of abstraction in the communication between client and server. The upload and download transmission times of the protocol extension are compared with other traditionally used tools for data transfers such as UberFTP, the globus-url-copy command, an FTP client, and the Secure Copy Protocol (scp) command. It is shown that for large files Topaz performs as well as the other tools, providing end-user scientists with a well known, user-friendly interface.

Subject Area

Computer science

Recommended Citation

Zamudio, Richard, "Topaz: A Firefox protocol extension for GridFTP" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1439481.