A federation of cloud resources beyond Europe

Integration of China’s CSTCloud with the EGI Federation has been recently completed. CSTCloud is a certified provider of the federation and meets all the operational tests for production usage.   

Operated by the Computer Network Information Center (CNIC) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), CSTCloud is a national infrastructure for CAS scientific communities and China’s top research. The design of the CSTCloud is based on the principle of ‘openness and sharing’. It aims to develop an open architecture that is capable of integrating various national and international computing resources in order to support multidisciplinary open science research. CSTCloud provides computing facilities for Chinese advanced research projects including CASEarch, CAS Space Science Missions, and research related with big facilities or observation stations such as the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) and the Large-High-Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO). 

The integration work is delivered under the EGI-ACE international cloud integration task force. There have been many challenges — different technical environments, different development culture, limited documentation, no previous examples, etc. 

It has taken a number of months of effort and people from different organisations and teams are involved. Particularly, we are grateful to Professor Jianhui Li’s team in CNIC, including the CNIC Cloud team (Haiming Zhang, Zuliang Guo, and Xiangguang Zheng), the CNIC AAI team (Yihua Zheng and Taotao Shi), and the CNIC Project Management team (Lili Zhang). Thanks to the EGI teams who provide dedicated supports, including the EGI Federated Cloud team (Enol Fernandez), Check-In team (Nicolas Liampotis, Nick Evangelou, and Valeria Ardizzone), and EGI Community support team (Yin Chen and Giuseppe La Rocca). 

This achievement contributes to the EGI-ACE’s objective — to realize the Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) by extending EGI service providers from outside Europe, in China, South-Africa, and USA. 

CNIC is the first Federated Cloud provider outside Europe. It provides opportunities for testing cross continental resource federation and service delivery“ says Enol Fernández, EGI Cloud Manager.

“The EGI-CNIC cloud federation takes a consolidated step forward for the exploration of infrastructure-level collaboration. And it is also a showcase following the UNESCO open science recommendation” adds Haiming ZHANG, CSTCloud Federation Manager.

In the next step, the collaboration will move on to test community use cases aiming to demonstrate the value of this global federation. Starting with EISCAT-3D, the world leading incoherent scatter radar, a test bed will be established to support the collaboration between EISCAT-3D and Chinese SYISR radar, and the piloting activities including, cross-continent e-infrastructure access and data movement, federated data processing, and data model design.     

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