EGI’s first anniversary – happy birthday all!

Exactly one year ago, on 8 February 2010, was created as a foundation under Dutch law to coordinate and manage the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) on behalf of its participants, the European NGIs and EIROs.

The statutes of the new foundation were approved in the previous week during a Council meeting and signed by the seven members of’s Executive Board, but it was on 8 February that the registration was made official.

One year on, EGI is a thriving federation of resource providers committed to deliver sustainable, integrated and secure computing services to European researchers and their international partners.

The last 12 months have been very productive:

  • We signed Memorandums of Understanding with the Initiative for Globus in Europe and the European Middleware Initiative to provide the software required by EGI’s user community

  • We will be signing agreements with Virtual Research Communities to ensure that their needs are represented directly within the infrastructure. The WeNMR Virtual Research Community (VRC) – a worldwide e-Infrastructure for NMR and structural biology – is on track to become the first VRC to join EGI.

  • We organised a successful Technical Forum in Amsterdam, which was the first opportunity for the extended EGI community to gather and discuss the way forward towards a sustainable pan-European infrastructure.

  • Operations report a significant increase of current jobs per month (plus 86%), users (plus 38%) and active virtual organisations (plus 24%), when compared to April 2010 figures.

  • EGI’s operations, user, technical, policy and governance groups have been constituted and are meeting frequently to manage their respective areas of responsibility.

  • We have established a set of communication channels with our audiences and stakeholders, including our newsletter, website news and, most recently, our new EGI blog, a place to share your ideas, thoughts and activities with the rest of the EGI community.

This is only the start. We will continue to work hard to make EGI a sustainable and dependable provider of computing resources for European scientists and researchers for many years to come.


Software Sustainability Institute holds Collaborations Workshop

On 3-4 March this year, the Software Sustainability Institute (UK) is holding the Collaborations Workshop 2011. It’s a two-day workshop that brings together researchers who use software, funders and software developers. Its goal is to provide attendees with everything needed to create successful collaborations. We want to provide the perfect forum for people to discuss their research and their project’s requirements, and then meet the people who can fulfill those requirements.

Getting people together from different research fields is exciting and terrifying. On the one hand, who knows what problems could be solved and what new research could be started? And on the other hand, how can you possibly agenda a meeting where you don’t know who’s turning up? The easy answer is: we don’t. Rather than relying on a fixed agenda, what we discuss at the workshop depends on the interests of the people who attend. Before and during the workshop, the attendees suggest topics for discussion. At the workshop, we take a vote and only the most popular topics make the agenda.

To kick things off, we’re starting the workshop with a session of lightening talks. It’s the perfect opportunity for attendees to advertise their work and let people know who they want to collaborate with. After the talks are complete, we’ll give attendees the chance to meet up with the people they’re interested so that they can discuss potential collaborations. We’ll even try to get them sitting together at the conference dinner!

Collaboration without funding is difficult, so we’ve invited funders from every Research Council in the United Kingdom. We’re having a good take up from EPSRC, JISC and STFC and we hope to persuade representatives from the other councils to attend too.

If you use software in your research - or want to use it in the future - the Collaborations Workshop is the perfect opportunity for you to meet people who you could work with.

More information

  • Date: 3-4 March 2011

  • Location: e-Science Institute, Edinburgh

  • Registration website:

  • Conference website:

  • Registration fee: £60

  • Want to know more? Contact

EGI signs MoU with the European Middleware Initiative

Alberto Di Meglio and Steven Newhouse sign the Memorandum of Understanding

The European Middleware Initiative (EMI) became the second technology provider to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) on 27 January.

EGI signed an agreement with the Initiative for Globus in Europe (IGE), just a few days before.

The MoU was signed by Steven Newhouse director of, on behalf of EGI, and EMI’s project director Alberto Di Meglio.

“EGI is our main middleware customer,” says Di Meglio. “This MoU will make our business relationship stronger and it will help us to accomplish our common vision of providing a reliable and sustainable research infrastructure in Europe."

The EMI project started in May 2010 as a joint effort of the major European distributed computing middleware providers, including ARC, gLite, UNICORE and dCache. The project aims to improve middleware services, closely listening to the requirements of users and infrastructure providers.

“The software from EMI is critical to the reliable use of our production infrastructure by our user community,” says Newhouse. “This MoU identifies the relationship between the two projects for our mutual benefit.”

Venus-C Opens Clouds for research

Venus-C has just launched its Open Call looking for pilot applications to get up and running on the cloud.

Funded by the European Commission, Venus-C brings together industrial partners and researchers to create an enterprise-quality cloud service for Europe. To help expand the community they already have, they have launched this new initiative to fund between 10 and 20 new schemes. These pilots will also help gather additional requirements for the platform, alongside testing and validating it. The projects will have access to all of the resources VENUS-C control and be given start-up funds to get the ball rolling.

The expertise at Venus-C will also work with the successful applicants to determine what features and capabilities of Cloud computing best support their work. They hope to attract interest from a diverse range of disciplines including; the Arts & Humanities, Engineering, Health & Life Sciences, Economics, Financial Services, and Natural Sciences. Of particular interest are applications that require dynamic scaling and ubiquitous availability.

Andrea Manieri is one of the coordinators in engineering group at Venus-C and is looking forward to what this means for the project and cloud computing in general “Venus-C already has a compelling range of applications but this open call will broaden the scope of the project, and help ensure the future of an academic cloud infrastructure in Europe”.

The call is open to public and private research organisations and runs from the 11th of January to the 11th of April, 2011. The entire fund is €400,000 which will be equally divided among successful candidates. All Call documents and more information are available online.

EGI signs agreement with the Initiative for Globus in Europe

Steven Newhouse and Helmut Heller shake hands after signing the Memorandum of Understanding

The European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) and the Initiative for Globus in Europe (IGE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday, 20 January, at's headquarters in Amsterdam. The MoU formalises the continuing business relationship between the two institutions.

The MoU establishes that IGE will provide new technology components to the EGI’s software repository. Specific software provision details will be defined in the future, through Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

The agreement was signed by Steven Newhouse director of, on behalf of EGI, and Helmut Heller, project director of IGE.

“IGE is the first technology provider to sign an agreement to provide software to EGI,” says Newhouse. “Building strong business relations with external technology providers is key to ensuring the long-term sustainability we want to offer to our stakeholders and users.”

IGE is a project set up to support and develop the Globus toolkit and strengthen the influence of European developers in the Globus alliance.

“This agreement is a very important first step to support Globus users in Europe,” says Heller. “And we hope the first of many successful steps in the IGE-EGI collaboration,” he adds.

IGE was the first technology provider to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, but it won’t be alone for long. EGI is set to sign more agreements in the coming weeks.

The Bulgarian Grid Consortium is now fully operational

Bulgaria joined the list of countries fully operational NGIs, as announced in a broadcast to the EGI community on 18 January.

The Bulgarian Grid Consortium manages ten sites, including two large HPC clusters and provides computing resources for more than 100 users. The NGI, previously part of the South-East Europe Regional Operations Centre, was set up a consortium of academic institutions led by the Institute for Parallel Processing of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

“The main usage of the Bulgarian Grid resources comes from applications from Environmental Modelling, Computational Chemistry, Computational Mechanics, Semiconductor Modelling and of course the LHC experiments,” says Mariya Durchova of the Bulgarian Grid Consortium.

The Bulgarian NGI team spent the last two years adding new hardware while moving to a new operational model, adds Durchova, and a few problems related to new hardware deployment were inevitable.

The Nagios monitoring system was the last tool to become operational. Following the successful migration of all systems, the Bulgarian Grid Consortium was the first NGI to become fully operational in 2011.

The Bulgarian NGI team has many plans for the future: “We are currently planning expansion of our current infrastructure in terms of storage mainly and we are also considering the addition of a new Grid site,” says Durchova.

Registration for the User Forum is now open

The EGI User Forum will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania on 11-15 April 2011 and registration for the event is now open.

The programme committee has received 154 abstracts, including posters, presentations, workshops and demonstrations. Registration will give participants access to all scientific sessions and to the exhibition area. The fee also includes conference documentation and bag, as well as to welcome drink reception, coffee breaks and lunches.

Participants can register for the event online. Discounted fees will be available until 28 February 2011, but registration will also be possible at the event at full registration price.

Romanian NGI is now fully operational

The Romanian NGI - the Rogrid Consortium - has joined the list of fully operational NGIs. The news were broadcasted to the EGI community last November.

Alexandru Stanciu, from RoGrid, announced that the Romanian NGI "has finished its integration procedure and that all necessary operational teams and tools are established in our NGI and we are ready for production." RoGrid is visible in all operational tools as NGI_RO and is responsible for all Romanian sites, previously part of the Southeast Europe Regional Operations Centre.

RoGrid was set up in 2002 by the Ministries of Communication and Information Technology and Education & Research to support the development of the Romanian grid infrastructureand make it a consistent and coherent part of the European grid. The consortium has seven academic partners, including the National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics - ICI Bucharest, which represents Romania in the EGI Council.

User Forum submission deadline extended until 24 December

The submission deadline for abstracts for the EGI User Forum 2011 has been extended to 24 December. Accepted abstracts for oral presentations will be published in the conference's abstract book.

The User Forum will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania (11-15 April) and is organised in conjunction with the European Middleware Initiative and Vilnius University. EGI welcomes contributions from the European e-Infrastructure community, and their international collaborators. End-users, application and tool developers as well as operations staff across Europe can submit abstracts for:

  • Oral presentations
  • Posters
  • Demonstrations
  • Workshops
  • Stands for the exhibition area

The programme committee is looking for contributions on topics such as:

  • Current research approaches or results obtained from using e-Infrastructures
  • Domain specific and generic portals that simplify access to e-Infrastructures
  • Experiences from applications ported, developed or deployed with e-Infrastructures
  • End-user environments (tools/portals/gateways) for accessing e-Infrastructure
  • Services or software relating to large-scale data analysis or data-oriented applications on distributed computing infrastructures
  • Provision and support for user-oriented e-Infrastructures
  • Management and/or exploitation of emerging computing technologies (desktops, virtualisation, clouds)
  • Integration, sharing and exploitation of national and international e-Infrastructure
  • Delivery of operational e-Infrastructure services to its users