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Data Federation Overview

The OSG operates the StashCache data federation, which provides organizations with a method to distribute their data in a scalable manner to thousands of jobs without needing to pre-stage data at each site. The StashCache data federation is best suited for per-job data set sizes between 1 and 50 GB, with no more than 1 TB for a complete workflow.

Organizations export their data from an origin server, and the data is streamed to jobs from a set of cache servers distributed throughout the OSG and Internet2. Jobs can achieve lower latency and higher throughput for data transfer by using a nearby cache instead of accessing the origin directly.

The map below shows the location of the current caches in the StashCache federation:

StashCache Map


The StashCache federation consists of three service types:

  • Origin: Keeps the authoritative copy of an organization's data. Each origin is operated by the organization that wants to distribute its data within the StashCache federation.
  • Cache: Transfers data to clients such as jobs or users. A set of caches are operated across the OSG for the benefit of nearby sites; in addition, each site may run its own cache in order to reduce the amount of data transferred over the WAN.
  • Redirector: Tells a cache service which origin to download data from. The redirectors are run centrally by OSG Operations.

The structure of the federation is illustrated below:

StashCache Diagram

A job will request data from a cache. The cache will serve the requested data from local disk if possible. Otherwise, it will query a redirector for the origin server that provides the data, download the data from that origin server, and then serve the data to the job. A copy of the data will be kept on the cache for use by future jobs.

Joining and Using StashCache