The 9th DIRAC Users Workshop

The 9th DIRAC Users Workshop will take place in London from 14 to 17 May 2019. The workshop will be devoted to exchanging information between the DIRAC developers, service administrators and users. Reports on the DIRAC ongoing and planned developments, service management tools will be included into the agenda together with the users reporting their experience.

You are welcome to suggest your items to the workshop agenda.

More details on the event.

Registration for the EGI Conference 2019 is now open

The EGI Conference 2019 will take place in Amsterdam, 6-8 May 2019, as a forum for the EGI Community to discuss the state of the art of the EGI Federation, future and emerging trends, requirements and experiences: national, local and at the level of the data centre. The event will also be an opportunity to celebrate 15 years of Operations of what is now the EGI Federation.

The registration is now open. We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam!

The Programme Committee of the EGI Conference 2019 is also inviting the community to submit contributions reporting on state of the art, future trends, requirements and experiences. Site managers and members of operations & technical teams are especially welcome to contribute. (Full description of conference topics).

The Call for Abstracts is open online until 8 March.

The EGI Conference will also host:

Key dates:

End of online registration: 19 April (please note: on site registration will not be possible)

Last day to submit abstracts: 8 March 2019

Keep an eye on our channels for more information.

 

 

IBERGRID 2019: Supporting the Iberian user communities in EOSC

The 10th Iberian Grid Conference will take place in Santiago de Compostela during the week of September 23 2019. The conference will be hosted by the Centro de Supercomputación de Galicia (CESGA).

IBERGRID 2019 will focus on fostering the development, integration and adoption of services for researchers in the framework of the European Open Science Cloud.

Key points:

  • EOSC Capacity building in the Iberian area based on distributed and cloud computing resources enabling researchers and wider user communities (public sector, industry etc…) to use advanced computing services to store and process data.
  • Capability building in the Iberian area based on data storage and processing services providing cost-effective and interoperable solutions for data management and long-term curation and preservation of scientific projects of common interest in the Iberian area. 
  • Co-development and piloting of innovative services to tackle todays scientific and social challenges in the public sector, industry and society at large.
  • Services supporting scholarly communication and open access: raising awareness on existing institutional and thematic repositories and information aggregators.

More information will follow shortly on IBERGRID’s website.

New job position at the EGI Foundation: Senior Operations Officer

EGI is hiring! We are looking for a Senior Operations Officer – if you want to be our new colleague, send your application now to jobs@egi.eu.

Job description

Summary:

The Senior Operations Officer is part of the EGI Foundation operations team reporting to the Operations Manager. They are responsible within the operations team for ensuring the EGI Federation delivers quality and trusted services that meet the technical and security requirements of its users, while ensuring its technical infrastructure is always current and deploys state of the art technology.

A Senior Operations Officer is expected to have significant experience and technical depth of activity of EGI’s operations activity.

Job Purpose & Responsibilities:

  • To supervise the status of the EGI Federation global operational services and individual National Grid Initiative (NGI) operational services, identifying issues and contributing to the definition of future service development plans in collaboration with Operations
    Centre Managers.
  • To contribute to the implementation and continual improvement of the EGI Service Management System by contributing as activity member, process manager or in other roles as applicable.
  • To participate (and where appropriate, lead) in working groups and tasks forces in the operations area.
  • To liaise with EGI technology suppliers following technology issues affecting the EGI Federation, supporting its users and system administrators, and its technical evolution.
  • To collaborate with partner digital research infrastructures at European and international level, to effectively support the provisioning distributing computing to international user communities…

See the full job description.

The deadline for applications ends on 28 February.

Apply now and be part of our team!

The EGI Federation reaches 1,000,000 cores

We are thrilled to announce that the EGI Federation reached 1,000,000 million cores of High-Throughput Compute capacity, meeting a milestone that marks over 15 years of exponential growth.

This is thanks to the collaborative work of the EGI data sites that put together their services and resources for the benefit of science and innovation. Now they are offering more than 1,000,000 cores to support research at all scales, from individuals to small research groups and large collaborations.

Alessandro Paolini, Operations Officer at the EGI Foundation, says: “I’ve been monitoring the numbers for a long time and I’ve been looking forward to this day! Then in January 2019 it was really nice to see this number coming up. 1 million cores stand for EGI’s greatness in delivering excellent services for research and I think this is an outstanding breakthrough.”

Have a look at our use cases to see the magnitude of EGI’s support for research, business and development.

Final ENVRI week: Helsinki, Finland

ENVRI week is a week dedicated to Environmental Research Infrastructures. It is organised twice a year. ENVRI week hosts ENVRIplus project related sessions as well as several other sessions targeting different groups of stakeholders.

The 8th and final ENVRI week will be organized in Helsinki, Finland from 25th until 29th of March 2019.

Registration is open and the draft programme is available online.

Find out more information.

10 reasons why you should work at EGI

This blog post is published on behalf of our colleague Bruce Becker. Sadly, Bruce is leaving our team and his role is waiting for another awesome person to fill it -> see the details of the opening.

Here is what Bruce has to say about working at EGI:

 

I’m here to tell you that you should apply for this job, because it’s one of the best things anyone can do. How do I know? Well, it’s actually my job – for the next few weeks at least. After that, it’s going to belong to someone awesome, maybe someone like you!

I joined the EGI Foundation at the beginning of March 2018 after collaborating closely with it since its inception. As co-ordinator of the African regional infrastructure which peered with it, I have always believed in the mission of the federation, and worked towards its vision and goals. When the opportunity came to join the Foundation in 2018, I jumped at it. For the last year, I have personally experienced some of the most stimulating challenges of my career so far and have my colleagues to thank for that.

I had planned on staying at EGI for a long time, and had made several investments in it. However, wheels were set in motion in my personal life which drive me down a road that diverges from EGI and indeed the entire field of research infrastructures. The decision to leave EGI was a very heavy one to make, and the parting is sad, but that is a story for a different time.

If you’re like me though – someone who has spent years at the convergence of research and the digital technologies that enable it, someone who cares deeply about the experience of research communities and the platforms which they use, someone who believes that as research infrastructure engineers we can have nice things… hell, we should have nice things, and there’s no reason that we can’t have nice things – then you should drop whatever you’re doing and send your CV now.

The job description states you will:

… be responsible within the operations team for ensuring the EGI Federation delivers quality and trusted services that meet the technical and security requirements of its users, while ensuring its technical infrastructure is always current and deploys state of the art technology.

But actually, it’s so much more than that.

Here’s why:

Work at the nexus of European e-Infrastructure

As part of the European Open Science Cloud, EGI is one of the entities driving the cutting edge of global research. EOSC is the the next step in decades of development in the federation of e-infrastructures, and this step is a big one. The services operated by EOSC member institutes will be delivered to millions of European researchers, and co-ordinating its development is a gigantic task. In the EGI Operations team you will be exposed to colleagues from a wide variety of domains, from data, cloud, networking and security infrastructure, to collaboration tools, identity federations, and more. There is probably no better place to work if you want to contribute to the development of the future of European Open Science in a concrete fashion.

Be amazed

EGI and EOSC support some of the most impactful research done anywhere in the world. You will be working to deliver services to projects which make you go “damn that’s awesome”. If you have a natural inclination to wonder at the beauty of the universe, if you care about climate change, biodiversity, human health and biology, or just want to catch an epic wave, you won’t be disappointed. This environment is special – you will be working at the interface of people, technology and science. The breadth of intellectual enterprise you will come into contact with will be constant source of stimulation and inspiration – if you’re into that kind of thing.

Work with the best people in the field

The EGI Foundation collaborates with peer infrastructures and external resource providers from across the world. The EGI Operations team is responsible within EGI for the smooth inter-operation of many services from across these infrastructures and the co-ordination external resources from providers across the world. You will be in one of the biggest professional networks in the research world, working with peers across Europe and the globe. These peers, like you, have almost uniformly dedicated their careers to the vision of delivering professional services to researchers in the pursuit of the cutting edge of science. The environment is challenging, stimulating and rewarding.

Put skills to work

The EGI Foundation is small and focused. Everyone is senior and everyone contributes all the time, often across teams. It is inevitable that during the course of your career you pick up niche skills and specific interests that you realise you happen to be good at. Often, at bigger employers, self-expression via those skills and interests is discouraged because it’s “not part of the job description”, and this can be an extremely frustrating situation. EGI has 5 small teams: management and finance, user and community support, operations co-ordination, communications, and policy development. In an organisation that counts just over 20 people, there are no silos. You are expected to contribute where you can, with whatever skills you have, outside of your core competency.

Work in a process-driven environment

Yes, EGI is small, but the federation it is responsibile for is huge, and the scope of projects it is involved in is impressive. The reason it functions so efficiently is thanks to the organisation’s process-driven nature. The EGI Foundation has obtained several certifications for quality (ISO 9001:2015) and IT service delivery (ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011). Internally, the Foundation runs a tight ship, with all processes defined and executed clearly, and continually improved. It is concise, transparent and practical and puts everyone on the same page. When you come to work in the morning, and tasks land on your desk, you know where they come from, what to do about them and most importantly why they are important.

Ops is notoriously about playing fireman, and the trope about constantly putting out fires across the infrastructure is somewhat true even in our case. However, we play safety inspector too, continuously checking our process, improving it, decreasing the day-to-day cognitive load, allowing the team to work in a calm and rewarding environment.

Work in a service-oriented environment

Everything in EGI is a service, and all services are managed according to the FitSM standard. This is the same standard that pervades our industry and EGI is not only one of places which offers training in it, but has fully adopted it as a means to build EOSC. Developing and operating services means having professional relationships with customers and providers alike, having empathy users, and putting their experience first. All services are in one or more catalogues, and executing and improving processes for managing and operating them are part of your responsibility. In the Operations team, you will need to work closely with service and product owners of the EGI Internal Service Catalogue amongst others.

Shoulder responsibility

As part of the Ops team, and taking over my position, you will likely be given some responsibility for part of the service management system. I was handed the capacity management process, and worked during my time there to implement something that was both good and made sense for EGI and EOSC. The same is true for all of the processes – people own them. With excellent direction from the executive team, you are entrusted with the responsibility and authority to build this thing together. Understanding that decisions you make, input you give and work you do has an effect makes you consider the ramifications – this is not an academic exercise, this is not a trial run, people are depending on you. Shouldering this responsibility personally, and understanding that everyone else in the organisation does so too is an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience.

Love your day job

EGI is small, and spread out across the expanse of Europe. Most of the time members work at their remote stations and rarely get to be together all in the same place. Remote work is not for everyone, and although it affords many benefits, it takes a special discipline to consider those “not in the building”. If you join the small core of staff that works in the Amsterdam office however, be prepared for a very special experience. If, like me, you end up working remote, be prepared to feel 100% part of the team, irrespective of your physical location.

I had a personal relationship with almost everyone in that office, stretching back years and they weren’t just “so-and-so from xyz team”. I’ve never been a great one for mixing social and professional activities, preferring to keep them separate, but EGI definitely changed this. Be prepared to work with real people who bring their whole selves to work every day.

Have nice things

Cloud computing infrastructures have matured and their attraction is mesmerising. There are at least four huge private platforms for consumers to choose from, and in some sense EOSC is competing with these. However there is also a Cambrian Explosion of creativity under way in the computing world. The Landscape of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation gives an impressive view of tools at our disposal for building a better infrastructure. We have partner projects such as DEEP and XDC pushing the boundaries of what research clouds can do and bringing state of the art software to production.

Patterns like DevOps are the new normal. We are coming to appreciate the importance of instrumentation and telemetry, the need for observability and how that improves our understanding of our users’ experience of our services. This isn’t just about keeping up with industry trends. It certainly isn’t about out-competing peer infrastructures – this is antithetical to EGI’s mission. We succeed and fail together. It is about building and delivering the best platform possible for research.

During my time at EGI, we quickly worked to implement improvements in the middleware component delivery pipeline, improve the software-defined deployment scenarios, product compliance and security test profiles, machine-readable product descriptions, and more. We started working on continuous delivery of components, smoother user experience and simplifying the way people discover and access these services.

All with the goal of delivering value – more reliably, safer, faster… better.

Get Paid

These are 9 reasons why working for EGI is probably the best thing you can do right now. If you need another one, it’s simple: the pay and perks are very competitive.

If this sounds like the place for you, see all the details of the opening and send your CV to jobs@egi.eu.

 

January edition of the EGI Newsletter

A new edition of the EGI Newsletter is now available online and in PDF format.

Among the highlights of this issue:

 

 

Subscribe to the EGI newsletter:

 

 

EGI appoints new Council Chair

We are happy to announce that Arjen van Rijn, the Institute Manager of Nikhef and a long-time member of the EGI community, was elected to be the next EGI Council Chair.

Arjen was involved in preparing the Amsterdam bid to host the headquarters of the EGI Foundation. He was also a key member of the team that defined the statutes of the foundation and supported its legal establishment. Arjen has since represented the Netherlands in the EGI Council and has served two terms as a member of the EGI Executive Board (2010-2014).

Our new Council Chair is also an active member of the e-IRG community (since July 2012) where he focuses on the development of national e-infrastructure organisations as strong building blocks of an European backbone of digital capacities.

We believe that Arjen’s lifelong commitment to the mission of the EGI Federation and his vision for the role of the EGI Foundation make him the ideal person to lead the EGI community through the challenges ahead.

“EGI federates hundreds of data centers, operating as a remarkably smooth whole, to serve pan-European research,” says Arjen. “The future of this federation is our collective responsibility as EGI Council. We all have a role to play here: in our local context, in our national context and in the future European Open Science Cloud. For my part, I will do everything I can to contribute to the best possible future for EGI.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Matthew Dovey, head of e-infrastructure at Jisc, for his leadership and contributions as EGI Council Chair for the last four years. “I have been honoured to serve as EGI chair over the last four years where we have built strong collaborations including DI4R and EOSC-hub,”says Matthew. “I wish Arjen success in leading the community through the new opportunities opened by EOSC”.

EGI Conference 2019: call for abstracts

The EGI Conference 2019 will take place in Amsterdam, 6-8 May 2019, as a forum for the EGI Community to discuss the state of the art of the EGI Federation, future and emerging trends, requirements and experiences: national, local and at the level of the data centre.

The event will also be an opportunity to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Operations of what is now the EGI Federation. The programme will be a mix of topical sessions, workshops and space for debate on topics related to the EGI Federation.

The Programme Committee has opened a Call for Abstracts and invites the EGI Community to submit abstracts for presentations and posters. Site managers and members of the distributed operations and technical teams are strongly encouraged to send contributions. The deadline for contributions is 8 March.

Registration for the EGI Conference will open soon.

The topics of the conference are:

  • Compute, storage and data management
  • Workflow, orchestration, data analytics
  • Federated AAI infrastructure
  • Community developments
  • Techs and Ops: the Federation at work

In parallel, the EGI Conference will have topical sessions and workshops dedicated, for example, to the evolution of the Cloud Infrastructure and the Operations Board.

The EGI Foundation is also organizing a Design your e-Infrastructure Workshop on 9 May 2019. This workshop is intended for research communities and research infrastructures who wish to become active users of EGI services. The workshop is free but the number of places is limited and registration is required.