EGI leverages best practices on Service Level Management

EGI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday with the gSLM project to collaborate in bringing EGI’s Service Level Management in line with industry best practices.

The EGI project is interested in giving European scientists, and their international collaborators, access to a sustainable distributed computing service. However, the European grid has many stakeholders; resource owners, users, and administrators, and it can be difficult to bring all these viewpoints into focus. Thomas Schaaf from gSLM explains, “Even once you reach agreement on what needs to be done and how, it still isn’t easy. Documenting, managing and policing rights and responsibilities in a fair but enforceable way is extremely complex in an environment like the grid. We hope to help EGI improve their Service Level Management by bringing lessons learned by industry to bear on the problem”.

The MoU, signed at ISC’11 in Hamburg, formalises the collaboration between EGI and gSLM so that the two can work together to provide concrete plans that can help shape the future of the infrastructure. Sergio Andreozzi has been working with gSLM to define the details of the collaboration plan, “Leveraging the experience and the best practices of Service Level Management from the commercial sector is just one more step towards improving EGI overall services. The gSLM project will bring the needed expertise to understand what can be improved and how”.

Some of the most important results of the collaboration will include:

  • Defining everyone’s role within EGI in relation to delivering a service to EGI users. This will mean that everyone within the project understand their place within the schema along with what is expected of them and what they can expect from others.

  • Creating a list of the current obstacles and requirements that the service providers have for providing services to users. EGI needs to know what are the issues for resource providers, this list will allow them to tackle these problems and hopefully make supporting new users as easy as possible.

  • Discovering the obstacles and requirements that existing and potential users have accessing grid services. Solving the problems being encountered by users now will help the project understand what needs to be done to make the grid more attractive to new users.

  • Building a training programme to improve the project’s IT Service Management. For EGI to gain from the collaboration with gSLM the lessons learned need to be disseminated as wide as possible. The training programme will do this alongside as explaining the new processes being used by the project.

The activity will start immediately by harmonising the terminology used and planning for a training session on IT Service Management at the next EGI Technical Forum.