A message to the EGI Community and its scientists

We have all been following the unfolding aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine with apprehension and horror, witnessing an escalation of violence and life-threatening actions targeting innocents and civilians every day. The brutality of this aggression is shaking the continuity of international scientific collaborations relying on a long history of trust in the scientific community. 

With the start of the aggression, Ukrainian universities have been the target of military actions, and the computing infrastructure at the National Science Centre of the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology is now wholly lost. We have no information about our colleagues working there. The brutality of the invasion is unacceptable and is challenging scientific work and international collaboration that we are mandated to support.

From the inception of EGI, partners from the Russian Federation and Ukraine have been united by their mission of contributing with their national academic and research computing facilities to support cross-country scientific computing and data processing. Together, they actively reinforced the connections between science and technology for scientific excellence and joined forces with many other facilities in the world. 

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the unjustified military aggression against Ukraine as an independent democratic country. At the same time, we trust science to remain an effective instrument of peace, and the EGI federating services have been our contribution to this end. They have been connecting data centres across national borders for more than a decade. In the name of all scientists who believe in peace, the EGI Executive Board has decided to keep this bridge open to Russian Federation-based facilities to let freedom, openness and peace prevail. 

Scientific collaborations and the data centres of the federation will retain the power to restrict access to services that are deployed in the EGI infrastructure to enforce their specific authorization policies.

We call for all scientists – from Russia and any other country – to stand up for peace in Ukraine and support the use of democratic means to preserve it. 

Read about the set-up of the EGI crisis team and other information about our practical response here.

EGI response to the war in Ukraine

Our Ukrainian colleagues are impacted by the military aggression, working from remote locations, separated from their families and in very precarious conditions. EGI staff and colleagues from across Europe closely follow the situation from both human and service operations perspectives and offer help and support.

In the name of all scientists who believe in peace, the EGI Executive Board has decided to keep our bridge open to Russian Federation-based facilities to let freedom, openness and peace prevail (Read the message). However, we are taking all the necessary steps to be prepared for the possible suspension of services through the national regulations.

As a result, EGI has set up a crisis team that prepares for the potential measures aiming at restricting access to compute, storage facilities and other digital services and examines their possible consequences in detail. Our crisis team’s actions will allow us to handle and support technical interventions our National Grid Infrastructures may require in future without any significant disruption of our services. The crisis team also released instructions to EGI partners, ensuring that our federation is not misused for possible cyberattacks. 

Contact the EGI Crisis team set up in a response to the current war in Ukraine.

Read our message to the EGI Community and its scientists.

EGI stands with Ukraine and its people

EGI Stands with Ukraine and its People

The EGI Foundation Director, Tiziana Ferrari, releases the following statement:

“It is with a heavy heart that we are following the news of what is happening in Ukraine. Ukraine is a long-standing partner of EGI via the Ukrainian National Grid. We stand with the country and its people at this critical moment. My thoughts go to our colleagues, their families and all the innocents involved in this tragedy. 

The EGI Community is shocked by the violence and loss of life as a result of the recent events unfolding in Ukraine, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms the military aggression against this independent democratic country. In EGI, both Russian and Ukrainian research institutes have peacefully collaborated for a common goal: science and its positive impact on our planet and every human being. 

We hope that peace is immediately restored. Let the peaceful populations of Russia, Ukraine and Europe work together to write a new page of history where integrity, sovereignty and independence are respected! We at EGI promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries. We will do as much as we can to ensure those strong links with our Ukrainian colleagues and friends stay untouched, and we will continue to embrace science as a tool for innovation, prosperity and peace.”

EGI-ACE and HealthyCloud presented at the PHIRI Scientific Stakeholders’ Dialogues

Gergely Sipos, Head of Services, Solutions, Support, has represented EGI and the EGI-ACE project today at Scientific Stakeholders’ Dialogues organised by PHIRI project. This event aimed to connect, interact or exchange with relevant national and international stakeholders. It hosted active discussions around three themes at the core of the project: FAIR catalogues describing (population) health data, building a federated infrastructure; and crisis preparedness and rapid policy response. The event was also attended by Salvador Capella-Gutierrez from BSC (Barcelona Supercomputer Center), our partner in HealthyCloud project.

Both Gergely and Salvador participated in the panel session focusing on health data analysis in a federated architecture discussing the obstacles and achievements of federated infrastructures, and topics of how to upgrade the infrastructures such as PHIRI in a way that they are sustainable and technologically evolving

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EGI-ACE is a 30-month project coordinated by the EGI Foundation with a mission to empower researchers from all disciplines to collaborate in data- and compute-intensive research through free-at-point-of-use services. EGI-ACE receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101017567.

 

The HealthyCloud project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement Nº 965345. In HealthyCloud, EGI leads the task on the analysis of the existing computation infrastructures with special view on health research, and will propose a reference architecture for computational services to serve the Health Research and Innovation Cloud ecosystem. 

Inauguration of the enhanced ELKH Cloud infrastructure

EGI Foundation team has attended today, 15th of February 2022, the inauguration of the enhanced ELKH Cloud infrastructure. ELKH is the cloud computing system of the Eotvos Lorand Research Network, one of the largest general-purpose research infrastructures in Hungary, a joint effort of SZTAKI (Institute for Computer Science and Control) and Wigner Research Center. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences initiated the development of such infrastructure in 2016, and building on its success it was further extended in 2021. ELKH Cloud is a joint effort of Hungarian scientific communities, who contribute to its development and operations, and also receive custom-tailored professional support.

ELKH Cloud services will soon be available through the EOSC Compute Platform

With the support of the European Commission project EGI-ACE, the EGI participants are integrating ELKH Cloud in the EGI Cloud Federation and the European Open Science Cloud compute platform operated by EGI. With sigle sign-on Hungarian researchers will be able to use ELKH Cloud to process data and reuse scientific applications and notebooks from other scientific collaborations, and at the same time to share their own data, notebooks and workflows.

Learn more about ELKH

Watch the video To learn more about the EGI-ACE project and ELKH Cloud see this video.

Check the presentation

Check these slides to understand how the ELKH Cloud infrastructure is being integrated in the EGI Federation to make:

  1. Single sign-on to access computing, data and scientific applications from worldwide scientific collaborations thanks to the EGI Check-in service
  2. Access and share data federated data in the EGI DataHub service
  3. Access and share scientific applications in the EGI Virtual Machine repository AppDD

These capabilities enable Hungarian researchers to exploit open science resources share by their colleagues from other organizaitons, and to share their own scientific outputs. With these efforts, Hungarian researchers will be able to contribute to the European Open Science Cloud and become active users.

These efforts are supported by the EGI-ACE project.

 


EGI-ACE is a 30-month project coordinated by the EGI Foundation with a mission to empower researchers from all disciplines to collaborate in data- and compute-intensive research through free-at-point-of-use services. EGI-ACE receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101017567.

Happy Birthday, EGI!

Today, we celebrate our 12th anniversary as an organisation that empowers researchers with seamless access to computing services, resources and expertise to collaborate and conduct world-class research and innovation.   The EGI Foundation was established in Amsterdam in 2010 as the coordinating body of the EGI Federation to build an integrated pan-European infrastructure to primarily support European research communities.   EGI HTC federated infrastructure in 2010 reached 358 million CPU hours. However, the number of hours provided in 2021 exceeded 6 billion! Indeed, the total 38 billion hours delivered during the 12 years of our operations is impressive. If the number of HTC cores counted 200.000 in 2010, in 2022, we manage over 1.2 million cores.   The EGI Federated Cloud integrates community, private and/or public clouds into a scalable computing platform for data and/or compute-driven applications and services. The original architecture was put into production in May 2014. Since then, our cloud providers and operation centres have delivered over 123 million CPU hours utilising more than 2.7 million virtual machines.   The EGI ecosystem, counting over 208 data centres, serves over 77.000 researchers in their intensive data analysis. It is the quality and diversity of our services, know-how, training opportunities and other activities that attract more users every year. The most significant scientific communities in EGI in 2022 are Medical and Health Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Earth and Environmental Sciences. The most tangible indicator of our contribution to excellent science is the number of publications and other research products enabled by our infrastructure. We are proud to say the EGI supported over 29.000 publications throughout the last 12 years.   But it is not only our core activities that deserve attention. EGI, as an organisation with a strong commitment to collaboration, has engaged with an impressive number of new scientific and coordination projects and communities. During the last 12 years, we have either coordinated or contributed to 55 international projects.   All this was possible thanks to the EGI Federation with 27 EGI Council participants, the entire EGI community behind, our partners and project collaborators. We want to thank you all. We hope we will soon meet in Prague during the EGI2022 conference. Indeed, collaboration is going to be central to this event.
  A very happy birthday to the EGI community and we look forward to more exciting years ahead!

Meet ACONET, the newest EGI Council participant representing Austria

Read a short interview with Dr Matthias Schramm. He tells us more about ACONET, the newest EGI council member and a strategic user advisory board for ACOnet – the Austrian Academic Computer Network.

 

Hello Matthias. Can you please tell us a bit more in detail about the ACONET network?

Hello. ACONET – the “Association for the Promotion of an Austrian National Research and Education Network (NREN)” – was founded in 1986 as a consortium of Austrian universities. Today, all Austrian public universities, the majority of universities of applied sciences, and some federal universities participate in the ACONET association. It does act as a strategic user advisory board for ACOnet – the Austrian Academic Computer Network – a high-performance network infrastructure and identity federation, using 10 resp. 100 Gbps Ethernet over DWDM technology. Currently, an Austrian Quantum Fiber Network is set up; its connection to a German network is planned in the short term. ACONET plans to provide access to HPC capacities and ICT capabilities of de-centralised IT departments.

Figure 1: Topology ACOnet (© ACOnet )

 

 

What do you see as the most immediate joint activities kicking off the collaboration with EGI?

Joining the EGI Federation results from a dynamic process lasting for years. Significant national joint efforts in the Climate and the Earth Observation sectors led to Austrian collaborations that can now hopefully expand further by collaborating within the EGI. The first possible services could, for example, be the provision of Satellite data cubes from the EU’s Copernicus programme or of Jupyter Hubs for teaching and training services in environmental and data sciences.

If the situation allows, can we count on our ACONET colleagues to meet our community during the EGI conference in Prague?

We are certainly looking forward to meeting the community, either physically or remote.  

Visit ACONET’s website: https://www.aco.net

Contact Person: Dr. Matthias Schramm, +43 1 58801 12238, egi@tuwien.ac.at

Meet ACONET, the newest EGI Council participant representing Austria

Read a short interview with Dr Matthias Schramm. He tells us more about ACONET, the newest EGI council member and a strategic user advisory board for ACOnet – the Austrian Academic Computer Network.

 

Hello Matthias. Can you please tell us a bit more in detail about the ACONET network?

Hello. ACONET – the “Association for the Promotion of an Austrian National Research and Education Network (NREN)” – was founded in 1986 as a consortium of Austrian universities. Today, all Austrian public universities, the majority of universities of applied sciences, and some federal universities participate in the ACONET association. It does act as a strategic user advisory board for ACOnet – the Austrian Academic Computer Network – a high-performance network infrastructure and identity federation, using 10 resp. 100 Gbps Ethernet over DWDM technology. Currently, an Austrian Quantum Fiber Network is set up; its connection to a German network is planned in the short term. ACONET plans to provide access to HPC capacities and ICT capabilities of de-centralised IT departments.

Figure 1: Topology ACOnet (© ACOnet )

 

 

What do you see as the most immediate joint activities kicking off the collaboration with EGI?

Joining the EGI Federation results from a dynamic process lasting for years. Significant national joint efforts in the Climate and the Earth Observation sectors led to Austrian collaborations that can now hopefully expand further by collaborating within the EGI. The first possible services could, for example, be the provision of Satellite data cubes from the EU’s Copernicus programme or of Jupyter Hubs for teaching and training services in environmental and data sciences.

If the situation allows, can we count on our ACONET colleagues to meet our community during the EGI conference in Prague?

We are certainly looking forward to meeting the community, either physically or remote.  

Visit ACONET’s website: https://www.aco.net

Contact Person: Dr. Matthias Schramm, +43 1 58801 12238, egi@tuwien.ac.at

One Year on with the EGI-ACE

Capacity demand and trends of the EGI-ACE project after its 1st year

EGI-ACE, an EU-funded project coordinated by the EGI Foundation, was kicked off in January 2021. The project will run for a total of 30 months, until July 2023, with a mission to empower researchers from all disciplines to collaborate in data- and compute-intensive research through free at the point of use services

EGI-ACE delivers the ‘EOSC Compute Platform’, an integrated compute environment that federates compute and storage facilities with various platforms and access layers. The project also contributes to the EOSC Data Commons through the setup and provisioning of ‘Data Spaces’ that integrate scientific datasets and data analytics tools on top of the Compute Platform.

 

Key achievements after the first 12 months of EGI-ACE

EGI-ACE managed to scale up the EOSC Portal with 30 large-scale, diverse services from providers across Europe and beyond. We are proud that 9 EGI-ACE services have been among the top 10′ most ordered’ EOSC services.

More than 40,000 users accessed our services, and the EOSC Compute Platform served 56 user communities in this period. The user communities vary from their origin, type, and disciplinary scope. To equip different scientific communities across Europe with access to state-of-the-art services for data-intensive research, the project so far delivered 20 Thematic Services / Data Spaces for a total of 37,000 users.

Data Spaces are special thematic services that host and integrate both datasets and scientific tools into a single unit, enabling the scalable, online analysis of big datasets. The Data spaces federate data from multiple providers and host those data on the EOSC Compute Platform resources together with applications that understand and can process the data. 

The total capacity requested by EGI-ACE use cases amounted to 105 Million CPU hours. Such amount of computational power was made available by the EOSC Compute Platform relying on:

  • EC funding through EGI-ACE Virtual Access
  • National funding mobilised by the national e-Infrastructures participating in the EGI infrastructure.
  • EGI participants’ funding that was supporting the cost of EGI federation services.

 

 

Ensuring capacity matches demand

The EGI-ACE Virtual Access budget allows project members to deliver 80 Million CPU hours in total over 30 months through various computing capabilities. Assuming the demand trend remains the same, the available funding will allow it to serve around 50% of the demand stimulated by the project.

It is clear that the type of services provided by EGI-ACE is in high demand, and the project has been able to capture it successfully. For the remaining part of the project, we will ensure the allocation of the remaining resources to the most promising research use cases in need of data-centric scientific computing.

 

Read more

A more detailed analysis of the project achievements as well as the project strategy can be found here

 

 


EGI-ACE is a 30-month project coordinated by the EGI Foundation with a mission to empower researchers from all disciplines to collaborate in data- and compute-intensive research through free-at-point-of-use services. EGI-ACE receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101017567.

Collaboration with South Africa

South African site now integrated into the EGI Federated Cloud

EGI Federated cloud team is delighted to announce the integration of a South African site in the EGI cloud. The newest integration is ILIFU-UCT, an Openstack infrastructure hosted at the University of Cape Town and run by the Inter-University Institute for Data-Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) and associated with several South African universities. The ILIFU-UCT cluster consists of over 4000 processing cores and more than 10 PB (raw) storage. Along with regional support of astronomy and bioinformatics communities, it will provide resources to international EGI communities as part of collaboration within the EGI-ACE project.

About the EGI Federated Cloud

The EGI Federated Cloud is an IaaS-type cloud consisting of academic, private clouds and virtualised resources built around open standards. The requirements of the scientific community drive its development.

About ILIFU-UCT

More information about Ilifu, a big data infrastructure for data-intensive research, can be found here.

 

South African – EU Dialogue workshop – new opportunities for collaboration

European Union is working on improving the collaboration between Sout Africa and EU in research area. On of the main outcome of the SA-EU Dialogue so far is a SA Open Science Cloud (SAOSC) Framework that will lead to the establishment of a SAOSC focused on research, development, and innovation. The Framework should be aligned with the envisaged Open Science Policy (currently under development) led by the DSI; cognisant of the Data and Cloud Policy of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT).
The SAOSC Framework will include a set of policy-based recommendations for the implementation of the South African Open Science Cloud (SAOSC) as part of an Open Science enabling environment. Guidelines and principles on critical aspects such as governance and management, resourcing, policies, monitoring and evaluation, and technologies enabling Open Science will be addressed in this dialogue.

 

Workshop

The successful development of the Framework will require broad-based consultations and inputs from stakeholders across the entire National System of Innovation, government departments and the private sector. To facilitate this broad-based consultation, a town-hall stakeholder (including international participants) workshop is planned for 3 February 2022.

The workshop format is envisaged as a one day hybrid workshop comprising an introductory plenary of dignitaries; the DSI context; an EOSC keynote address; and overview presentations on four thematic area by a leading authority in that area.

Simultaneous breakaways will follow, co-ordinated by a facilitator to allow for specialised discussions in each area, with a mix of SA and international presenters, and with a moderator/rapporteur to report back to the final plenary. The breakaway sessions will be structured by a high-level speaker who will be invited to share the current thinking in the international discussion on each thematic area; allowing local lead services to respond to start the debate.

More information about the workshop.