Advancing to ACCESS

By Megan Johnson, NCSA

When XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) began in 2011, it started as a program that had only a five-year funding plan. What began as a collection of 16 partner institutions with supercomputers and high-end visualization and data analysis resources has blossomed into almost 50 resource providers across the country.

XSEDE will now make way for ACCESS, Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support. For many, ACCESS will function similarly to XSEDE. Both have the same goal of connecting scientists, researchers and educators with cyberinfrastructure resources they might not have otherwise had access to. Like XSEDE, ACCESS utilizes a network of resources around the country to make pairing researchers with the appropriate resources faster and more efficient. Within the new program, researchers will be connected to resources within the broader NSF cyberinfrastructure ecosystem.

ACCESS will flourish through connectivity with a broadening spectrum of CI communities and other NSF programs such as Training-based Workforce Development for Advanced CI. It is exciting to see how many active CI communities, campus champions, and research coordination networks have agreed to collaborate as integral partners of the ACCESS teams.

Manish Parashar, office director in the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at NSF

The Road to ACCESS

On May 1, 2022, the $52 million award from the NSF went into effect. By then, things were already in motion. Various awards were given to groups of institutions, each tasked with a different aspect of managing the support structure of ACCESS.

The NSF held a virtual town hall on June 14 to unveil some previews of the new program and to answer some of the many questions those in attendance had about the move from XSEDE to ACCESS. The majority of questions that afternoon were from researchers who had existing allocations in XSEDE. An important aspect of the transition was to minimize disruptions to researchers with active allocations on CI resources. All allocations made prior to August 16 can continue without any modifications These allocations will function effectively the same way they had under XSEDE until it’s time to renew. You can find a full recording, transcript and other supporting materials here.

Allocations under ACCESS will align the proposal-writing effort with the level of resources required to carry out research, development and educational activities – resulting in less time spent writing proposals and more time planning and completing necessary work.

Stephen Deems, principal investigator, ACCESS Allocation Services

The town hall was just the beginning of a concerted effort by the ACCESS team to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone, especially resource providers connected to the XSEDE ecosystem. 

Some services will be retiring. From the Advance to ACCESS website, if you have used any of these services or packages, they will no longer function as of August 31, 2022:

  • The XSEDE-CILogon integration
    Authentication with CILogon after September 1 will work by selecting ACCESS as the identity provider instead of XSEDE. More here.
  • The XSEDE COmanage
  • The XSEDE InCommon Identity Provider will be replaced by starting September 1. Authentication via is available now for testing. More here
  • The XSEDE MyProxy service
  • The XSEDE MyProxy OAuth service
  • The SSO login hub at

Furthermore, the support for the following packages will also end:

  • The XSEDE CA Certificate Bundle
  • Grid Community Toolkit
  • Legacy GridFTP using Grid Community Toolkit or Globus Connect Server 4.x
    RPs with GridFTP services based on Grid Community Toolkit or Globus Connect Server 4.x, configured to authenticate XSEDE (and after September 1, ACCESS) patrons via will need to replace these services with a Globus Connect 5.4 installation configured with and a corresponding RP-specific mapfile. See ACCESS CONECT – Deploy Globus Endpoint and details at ACCESS Globus Connect Server v5.4 Installation Guide v1
  •  GSI-OpenSSH client and server software
  • The xdusage command-line client will only report XSEDE usage through mid-August, 2022. ACCESS will introduce a new accessusage command in the coming weeks that reports all XSEDE and ACCESS usage moving forward.

Those involved in ACCESS are committed to building upon the successes of the 11-year XSEDE project, while also expanding the ecosystem with capabilities for new modes of research and further democratizing participation.

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