Is free Globus going away?

September 22, 2017   |  Vas Vasiliadis

A few months ago we announced that support for the open source Globus Toolkit is ending. Since then we've become aware of confusion regarding the details and impact of this announcement, so I thought I would try to clarify things a bit.

Here are the important facts:

  • The Globus service and the Globus Toolkit are separate and distinct products that just happen to share some code.
  • If you currently use the Globus service, nothing is changing. File transfer continues to be free for non-profit research and education use—and for those that choose to subscribe, lots of additional features are available. In fact, you can stop reading this blog now, and my apologies for the distraction :-)
  • If you currently use Globus Toolkit components, such as globus-url-copy, to move files, you should consider using the Globus service instead. The new Globus command line interface offers a richer and more robust set of capabilities that replace (the often difficult to use) globus-url-copy and related tools.
  • The Globus Toolkit is open source software for "rolling your own" grid/HPC computing infrastructure; by contrast, the Globus service provides turnkey research data management capabilities for all researchers via software-as-a-service (SaaS).
  • Thanks to the generosity of our subscribers and financial support from multiple funding agencies, we continue to make progress towards sustainability for the Globus service; but we are unable to raise funds to support the Globus Toolkit, hence the change.