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High-End Computing University Research Activity (HECURA)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


High-performance computing is increasingly essential to progress in science and engineering.  Contemporary high-end computing (HEC) systems often comprising of tens- to hundreds-of-thousands of processors allow researchers to study complex problems that were previously intractable.   However, emerging data-intensive scientific challenges and opportunities demand more of HEC systems.  For example, observation- and simulation-driven applications require higher throughput input/output (I/O) capabilities, large data storage capacities, and tools for efficiently finding, processing, organizing and moving data.  Data-management challenges also include the need to access large volumes of data produced by different applications, in numerous locations, and in various formats.

Although storage capacity and processing power are growing rapidly, increases in data bandwidth and access times are not keeping pace.  In fact, the advent of multicore processors has resulted in a decrease in memory and bandwidth per core. The performance gap between HEC processing power and storage device performance demands advances in massively parallel I/O systems to maintain the throughput of applications. The ability to efficiently map I/O operations between millions of distributed memories and hundreds-of-thousands of storage devices is also a formidable problem that calls for research.

Accordingly, in 2009, the High-End Computing University Research Activity (HECURA) program invites research and education proposals in the areas of I/O, file and storage systems design for efficient, high-throughput data storage, retrieval and management in cases where HEC systems comprise hundreds-of-thousands to millions of processors.  Research areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • I/O architectures and I/O middleware;
  • archives/backups as extensions to file systems;
  • file systems research and file systems-related protocols;
  • metadata research;
  • access methods;
  • data management systems;
  • security;
  • novel storage devices for the I/O stack;
  • Quality of Service;
  • management, and reliability and availability at scale (RAS);
  • hardware and software tools for design and simulation of I/O, file and storage systems; and
  • efficient benchmarking, tracing, performance measurement and tuning tools of I/O, file and storage systems.

Program contacts

Additional Program Contact:

Velma Lawson, Integrative Activities Specialist, Division of Computing and Communication Foundations, telephone: (703) 292-8910, email: vlawson@nsf.gov

Almadena Y. Chtchelkanova
Program Director, Division of Computing and Communication Foundations
achtchel@nsf.gov (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Krishna Kant
Program Director, Division of Computer & Network Systems
kkant@nsf.gov (703) 292-4776
Frank Olken
Program Director, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems
folken@nsf.gov (703) 292-8930 CISE/IIS
Abani Patra
Program Director, Office of Cyberinfrastructure
apatra@nsf.gov (703) 292-8970

Awards made through this program

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