EGI releases the first Unified Middleware Distribution

 The software provisioning team at the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) has released the first version of the Unified Middleware Distribution (UMD-1). This is a major milestone in providing a consistent platform for all researchers in the European Research Area to gain access to suitable and integrated computing resources.

Every research community has different goals and requirements for their computing and data needs. Many have developed and maintained their own solutions, which work for them. For many years, the European grid has been offering researchers a distributed computing system across different middleware. The goal of the UMD is to provide a system that the community’s existing solutions can easily plug into, not replace, so that these solutions can be deployed at scale across Europe. It will offer a set of well-defined, stable and general-purpose software components to meet their needs.

So for the last year, EGI and its partners have been working with technology providers and users to work out what they need to offer as a sustainable base on which users can build. The chosen components are collectively known as UMD and have been verified to work in the environment used within EGI. Leading the work has been Michel Drescher; EGI’s Technical Manger; he is excited by what they have achieved: “Just getting this far has been a mammoth task. We have consulted a huge range of stakeholders, reviewed every software package on the grid and come up with what we believe provides the best support structure we can. This is however only a first step, we will learn a lot from this initial deployment to improve future releases”.

UMD 1.0.0 is the first release of UMD-1 for the European Grid Infrastructure. This initial release contains the most critical products from EGI's Technology Providers, as agreed by the Technology Coordination Board on behalf of the EGI community. Further versions will be released in the near future incorporating more features, including the full EMI (European Middleware Initiative) software stack and IGE (Initiative for Globus in Europe) components.