AARC builds teams and plans for the 2nd project

Plans and priorities for work in the second AARC project took shape during a kick off meeting held on 6-8 June in the German health resort town Bad Herrenalb. This Black Forest retreat provided a comfortable setting for participants to get to know each other, discuss expectations and refine plans for the next 6 months, with a new focus on community engagement.

Work package leaders from the first AARC project presented overviews of the main achievements between 2015-2017:

  • Christos Kanellopoulos (GÉANT – formerly GRNET) reported on the AARC blueprint architecture (see also related infoshare). This will be the starting point for all future work. The architecture team is now led by Nicolas Liampotis (GRNET).
  • David Groep (Nikhef) encouraged participants to look at the policy side, namely Sirtfi (the security incident framework), Snctfi (the policy framework for the proxy component identified in the AARC blueprint architecture), the guidelines to handle personal information for accounting and sustainability guidelines.
  • Paul van Dijk (SURFnet) gave an overview of the 18 pilots that had been successfully carried out. Some were aimed at libraries while others ease the adoption of federated access for research- and e-infrastructures. Some are now production services.
  • Laura Durnford (GÉANT) reported on the training and outreach materials. The main results can be found at two specific sections: the library toolkit and the toolkit for infrastructures. Laura also reminded participants that the AARC video is a good introduction to AARC and its scope.

Read the full blog post on the AARC website.

EGI and GÉANT join forces to support science and innovation

As part of a long-term and ongoing policy to collaborate closely with all our e-infrastructure partners, the EGI Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GÉANT to further develop joint efforts aimed at providing European scientists and international collaborations with sustainable services for their research efforts.

GÉANT and EGI will continue to work together across a number of areas including:

  • Joint service portfolio management and procurement
  • Interoperability and better integration of GÉANT and EGI services in the areas of network, AAI and security to benefit user communities and improve the experience and uptake of services by researchers
  • Exchange information related to long-term strategies, sustainability and business models
  • Establish and share communications, user engagement practices and training expertise to better engage with users across research communities

Yannick Legré, Managing Director of the EGI Foundation, says that “GÉANT is a solid partner of EGI and together we want to support more open science, continuously improve our services offer to the wider research community and stimulate open innovation in Europe and beyond.”

Steve Cotter, Chief Executive Officer of GÉANT adds, “An integrated e-infrastructure experience for research, education and industry is vital for Europe. GÉANT is committed to helping deliver this, and we see this as a natural next step with our strong partner EGI.”

Webinar: EGI Applications-On-Demand Service

This 1-hour webinar will take place Tuesday, 13 June 2017, from 14:00 to 15:00 (CEST) and will provide you with an overview of the EGI Applications on Demand (AoD) service. The service was specifically designed for individual researchers, small research teams and early-phase research infrastructures who do not have access to dedicated computational and storage resources, online applications and science gateways to perform scientific data analysis.

The service is available via a lightweight registration and offers access to a growing number of scientific applications and application hosting frameworks (such as science gateways, VREs) that are configured to use the dedicated pool of cloud computing and HTC clusters from EGI.

The AoD service operates as an open and extensible hub for EGI-related providers and e-user support teams who can use the service to share and make available applications, services and/or compute-storage capacity at the European level.

The target audience of the webinar is:

  • NGIs and national user support teams: they can use the service to serve national users or to promote and make available their national applications and gateways/VREs to foreign users.
  • Representatives of research infrastructures or scientific communities/projects: they can use the service to serve their long-tail users with generic or domain specific applications, before/without committing to long-term resource allocation through EGI.
  • Researchers and small research teams: they can learn about the applications and tools available for them in this service.

The webinar doesn’t require registration.

Webinar details:

Tue 13 June 2017, 14:00 – 15:00 (CEST)
Organiser: The EGI Foundation
Webinar agenda and connection information
Documentation
Support: support@egi.eu

Wise e-infrastructures endorse WISE recommendations

The WISE Community (Wise Information Security for E-infrastructure) is proud to announce that the governing principles and approach of the SCI Framework were endorsed by key e-infrastructures for research from Europe and the rest of the world.

SCI (Security for Collaborating Infrastructures) is a framework of best practices and policy standards for security with the goal of facilitating collaboration during and after security incidents. SCI’s governing principles cover incident containment, forensics, data protection and risk management and analysis of preventive measures.

The SCI framework is the first output of the WISE Community, set up in 2015 as a forum for security experts to discuss and share information on risk management, operational security and threat intelligence in the context of e-Infrastructures. SCI’s updated version 2 was officially endorsed during the TNC 2017 event by representatives of EGI, EUDAT, GÉANT, GridPP, PRACE, SURF, WLCG and the USA’s XSEDE e-infrastructure.

With this endorsement, the e-infrastructures subscribe to the governing principles and approach of SCI as a medium of building trust and exchanging information in the event of security incidents.

Hannah Short, chair of the WISE Steering Committee, said:

We are thrilled that SCI will be our first official WISE output. This endorsement shows us that we are on the right track for making information security for collaborating e-infrastructures a little wiser!

Representatives of the endorsing e-infrastructures and projects also added their view on the SCI framework:

Tiziana Ferrari, technical director of the EGI Foundation:

We know from our experience of working with 350 federated data centres that collaboration and sharing of expertise is the key to improve security. We are endorsing SCI to provide a more secure environment for EGI users and researchers in general.

Ian Bird, WLCG project leader:

The SCI framework has played a key role in defining the collaborative security environment that we rely on in the WLCG. The expansion of this framework by WISE is an evolution that we welcome as we follow the increasing interdependence of infrastructures worldwide.

New issue of the EGI newsletter

A new issue of Inspired is available online and in PDF format.

In this issue…

EGI Webinar: How to engage SMEs for national e-infrastructures

EGI is pleased to announce the webinar “How to engage SMEs for national e-infrastructures” to be held on Wednesday 31 May 15:00-16:00 CEST. This 1-hour webinar will provide attendants with an outline of the EGI framework for private sector engagement including the services offered, participation mechanisms, strategies and success stories that could be used by all national e-infrastructure providers.

EGI has a long-standing commitment to sharing the benefits of e-infrastructure technology and services with industry, especially SMEs, which are considered one of the key drivers for economic growth, innovation, and employment. The European Commission has made them one of the focuses in the Horizon 2020 with the aim of putting SMEs in the lead for the delivery of innovation to the market. EGI supports this policy objective through an established Business Engagement Programme for developing relationships with the private sector and bringing them into the EGI ecosystem to create mutual value.

Companies can identify their own business opportunities, advertise their services, and/or conduct R&D activities in collaboration with the public research sector using the capabilities that EGI makes available for them.

One of the objectives of EGI-Engage, an EC-funded project that supports the expansion of EGI as the largest multidisciplinary public computing, storage and data infrastructure, was to create a model for SME engagement that would not only be put in practice, but could be adopted and adapted for a wider number of national e-infrastructure providers/resource centres as well.

This will be the key focus of the webinar.

Webinar details:

Date & time: Wed 31 May 2017,  15:00 – 16:00 (CEST)

Organiser: The EGI Foundation

Webinar link (WebEx)

Password: Business

Global call-in numbers

More information:

IBM highlights of the EGI Conference and the INDIGO summit

This blog article was written by Sahdev P. Zala, IBM Advisory Software Engineer, and re-posted here with permission. Read the original article.

 

The EGI Conference 2017 and INDIGO Summit 2017 took place in Catania, Italy, from 9 to 12 of May.

Sahdev P. Zala, Advisory Software Engineer at IBM, was among the keynote speakers, and it was the first time he attended an EGI event. The co-authors, Dr. Miguel Caballer and Dr. Alvaro Lopez Garcia, are INDIGO-DataCloud lead architects and are attending EGI and INDIGO events on a regular basis.

The event was powered with keynote speeches from renowned speakers, several technical sessions and poster sessions. It was attended by a few hundred computer scientists and developers from all over the Europe, United States, Canada, Taiwan and South Africa. Most attendees have PhD or MSc degree in Computer Science.

IBM Takeaway

We found the event very successful with over 5 keynote sessions, 32 technical sessions, 29 posters and panel discussions. The keynote speakers included Dr. Tiziana Ferrari (Technical Director, EGI Foundation), Dr. Davide Salomoni (Coordinator, INDIGO-DataCloud), Prof. Jesús Marco de Lucas (Work Package Leader, INDIGO-DataCloud), Edit Herczog (Ex-Member of European Parliament), Dr. Jan Korbel (Senior Scientist, EMBL Heidelberg) and Sahdev Pratapsinh Zala (IBM).

It was simply amazing to see how technology, and especially cloud computing, is influencing science. Several sessions and demonstrations were presented towards it. One of the most impressive sessions was by senior scientist Dr. Jan Korbel titled “Cancer Genomes on the Cloud: The Pan-Cancer Initiative” demonstrating how cloud computing is advancing research on cancer. Dr. Korbel also discussed the future of cancer research and how science cloud will play an important role.

In his keynote speech, Sahdev P. Zala of IBM presented IBM’s leadership and commitment in open source software development. He demonstrated the collaborative efforts that the project INDIGO-DataCloud and IBM team worked together to enhance OpenStack TOSCA projects like OpenStack Heat Translator and OpenStack TOSCA Parser. He also demonstrated how INDIGO-DataCloud uses those projects in production. Part of his briefing on collaborative efforts were a recap of INDIGO team and IBM’s joint sessions at the OpenStack summits in Austin and Barcelona 2017, and a joint submission of research paper in a prestigious Journal of Grid Computing. At the end, he provided an overview of IBM Bluemix Platform.

Dr. Miguel Caballer is an architect of the Infrastructure Manager (IM). The IM is a tool that deploys complex and customised virtual infrastructures on multiple back-ends. It enables the automation of the Virtual Machine Image (VMI) selection, deployment, configuration, software installation, monitoring and update of virtual infrastructures. It supports a wide variety of back-ends, thus making user applications cloud agnostic. In addition, it features DevOps capabilities, based on Ansible to enable the installation and configuration of all the user required applications providing the user with a fully functional infrastructure. The IM is used by INDIGO-DataCloud at two levels: in the PaaS core to access cloud providers external to the INDIGO-DataCloud project and as the TOSCA orchestration layer of the OpenNebula sites of the INDIGO-DataCloud infrastructure.

Dr. Alvaro Lopez from CSIC is coordinating the development efforts in the compute virtualization area of the INDIGO-DataCloud project, as well as the task responsible for the integration modules needed for the EGI Federated Cloud. Those activities were showcased in a joint session moderated by Alvaro, focused at mature user communities that are able to exploit IaaS resources directly.

Dr. Davide Salomoni (coordinator of the INDIGO-DataCloud project) and Dr. Tiziana Ferrari (Technical Director of the EGI Foundation) provided details about progress of INDIGO-DataCloud and EGI respectively. They also provided the audience with lots of data about both the projects. It was absolutely impressive to learn how big is the EGI infrastructure, as it can be seen in the presentation. EGI currently federates more than 300 HTC centres, more than 20 cloud providers and provides over 2.6 billion CPU hours per year to more than 50.000 users distributed worldwide.

Professor Jesus Marco of CSIC (work package leader of INDIGO-DataCloud) acted as the moderator for the INDIGO-DataCloud sessions. Prof. Jesus also moderated a panel with seven Panel Experts including Dr. Tiziana Ferrari, Dr. Davide Salomoni and Sahdev Zala.

At this vibrant event, the EGI and INDIGO communities demonstrated many initiatives that are going on for a better science. It is clear that INDIGO-DataCloud can play a vital role for a sustainable cloud infrastructure for scientific communities in Europe and beyond. The detail of event and sessions can be found at the conference site. To learn more about event moments visit #egiconf17 and #indigosummit17 on Twitter.

EOSCpilot 1st stakeholder engagement event

Save the date! The EOSCpilot project is excited to announce its 1st stakeholder engagement event, which will take place at the SQUARE in Brussels, from 28 to 29 November 2017.

EOSCpilot brings together stakeholders from research infrastructures and e-infrastructure providers and aims at creating an open environment to use research data, knowledge and services. EGI is supporting the project by contributing services, knowhow, policies, and the requirements of large-scale international user communities.

The event will be an interactive gathering of representatives and experts from the stakeholder groups, enabling them to have their voice heard in the first phase of development of the future European Open Science Cloud. The five science demonstrators already involved in EOSCpilot will have the chance to present their work to a broader public audience.

Both days will include plenary sessions with high-level policy and governance representatives.

See more information about the EOSCpilot event.

Designing a common European digital service catalogue for research: take part!

The eInfraCentral project (European E-Infrastructure Services Gateway) opened an online survey to gather information about all digital services for research from independent providers with the aim of creating a single entry point to European e-infrastructure services. eInfraCentral‘s mission is to ensure that by 2020 a broader set of users benefits from European infrastructures.

EGI’s contribution to the project is related to requirements efforts and harmonising the classification of services. EGI will also provide advice on the portal specification and is one of the advocates for the common service catalogue in terms of convincing other e-infrastructures to share their service catalogues.

This survey is designed for digital service providers, their users, customers and interested stakeholders to help identifying requirements and needs for the development of a common e-infrastructure service catalogue in Europe.

The survey is open until 31 May 2017.

Take part now!

All FitSM Training Levels are now available

We are happy to announce that registration is open for all 4 FitSM training, certification levels and expert courses. The trainings are organised by the EGI Foundation and will take place throughout June 2017, at the EGI Foundation headquarters in Amsterdam.

The available courses and dates are the following:

6-9 June 2017
19-23 June 2017

More details on the courses and prices are accessible on the EGI website.

For specific interests and questions, feel free to send an e-mail to training@egi.eu.

We are looking forward to greeting you in Amsterdam!