The European HTCondor Workshop: 4-7 September

The European HTCondor Workshop will take place this year in the United Kingdom, from 4 to 7 September 2018, hosted by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire with help from the STFC Scientific Computing Department and GridPP UK project.

The workshop will be an excellent occasion for learning from the sources (the developers!) about HTCondor, exchanging with your colleagues about experiences and plans, and providing your feedback to the experts. Participation is open to anyone interested in HTCondor.

A reduced early-bird registration fee will apply until 31 July.

See all the details of the workshop.

LSGC, MoBrain, NBIS and Terradue service agreements renewed

We are pleased to announce that the following EGI service level agreements have been successfully renewed:

  • The SLA between EGI service providers and the Life-Science Grid Community (LSGC) has been extended until January 2019. The Life-Science Grid Community (LSGC) is a virtual research community that supports life-science applications on the EGI federation. The SLA extension allows these research groups to use EGI High-Throughput Compute and Online Storage to contribute to the development of the life science research field.
  • The SLA between EGI service providers and MoBrain has been renewed until December 2020. The main objective of the MoBrain competence centre is to lower barriers for scientists to access modern e-Science solutions from micro to macro scales. Thanks to the renewed agreement, MoBrain will continue to access the High-Throughput Computing and Online Storage services they need for their research.
  • The SLA between EGI providers and NBIS has been extended until December 2018. NBIS is supporting life sciences and bioinformatics. Their communities will continue to use EGI Cloud Compute and Online Storage services needed for their activities.
  • The SLA between EGI providers and Terradue has been renewed until January 2020. Terradue, a company specialised in delivering e-Infrastructures for earth sciences, will be able to continue to access EGI Cloud Compute.

Nanjiang Shu, Researcher at NBIS, says: “We appreciate very much the excellent service provided by EGI.”

Giuseppe La Rocca, Technical Outreach Expert at the EGI Foundation, mediated the agreements and says: “We are very proud to renew these SLAs that continue to provide our services and strengthen our collaborations with a variety of research communities.” He also informs about a significant change in the agreement policy: “From now on the agreements with service providers are automatically renewed – as long as the provider does not express the wish to terminate it, at least a month before the end date. This change helps the EGI community to lower the effort needed to negotiate SLA extensions, so we can serve more communities, more efficiently.”

Structural biology in the clouds: a 10-year-old success story

The structural biology community published an extensive presentation showcasing the successes of the 10-year-old collaboration with EGI.

The community’s MoBrain collaboration is developing online portals for life scientists worldwide and relies on High-Throughput Computing and Online Storage services provided by the EGI Federation. In total, seven EGI data centres have offered around 75 million hours of computing time and more than 50 TB storage capacity to the research collaboration.

The MoBrain portals powered by EGI resources are: HADDOCK, DisVis, AMBER, CS-Rosetta, FANTEN and PowerFit. The web portal HADDOCK, for example, has so far processed more than 198,000 submissions from over 10,000 scientists, which translates into 8 million HTC computing jobs to EGI resources per year.

More usage trends and results of the partnership are available in the presentation.

The collaboration with EGI continues at the present time with a suite of dedicated thematic services within the EOSC-hub project.

EGI endorses the EOSC declaration

EGI endorses the principles of the EOSC Declaration and advocates the European Open Science Cloud to be the initiative addressing the needs of open access, sharing within and across research communities, ensuring sustained funding to digital research infrastructures.

We advocate the scope of EOSC to be as broad as possible to include FAIR advanced digital services, scientific instruments, data, software, knowledge and expertise that enables researchers to collaborate more easily and be more productive.

EGI actions

EGI commits to the following actions that altogether contribute to the implementation of the European Open Science Cloud:

Governance and funding
  • Support the definition, implementation and operation of the governing structure benefiting from its long-standing experience with more than 300 data centres in 50 countries.
  • Contribute its best practices and experience to the definition of the EOSC “rules of engagement”, i.e. the policies for the EOSC actors (e.g. end-users, customers and providers) leveraging for the lightweight federation of services capabilities ensuring interoperability among multiple suppliers at worldwide scale.
Data culture and FAIR data
  • Provide and improve implementation guidelines for FAIR services in the area of advanced compute, federated identity provisioning, authentication and authorization, and contribute to the definition of the EOSC minimum set of reference standards and interoperation agreements and service accreditation models for EOSC.
  • Develop the skills and certification schemes necessary to become users or operators of digital research infrastructures and EOSC through a network of community-lead competence centres involving multiple research communities, technology experts and service providers.
Research data services and architecture
  • Operate the EOSC Hub, the Service Integration and Management system (SIAM) accountable for ensuring that all EOSC service providers perform to provide a seamless service that is compliant to contractual obligations made with customer organizations. Activities include: communicate and manage alignment of services to defined policies and standards, define and maintain service level agreements, conduct service audits and quality assurance reviews, manage end-to-end service level management performance retaining overall accountability, provide the tools for aggregating demand and supply, make services and research artefacts discoverable and accessible at European level etc.
  • Operate an open hybrid e-infrastructure offering data-driven advanced compute – Cloud Compute and High-Throughput Compute – and data services from publicly funded and commercial organisations and maintain and evolve the related implementation guidelines to make the related services FAIR.
  • Operate a federated identity provisioning, authentication and authorization services for the EOSC users and service providers.

EGI Use Cases: published today!

We are very pleased and proud to announce that we published a new compilation of our best use cases.

Our new publication showcases the diversity of the EGI-supported science as well as the magnitude of the usage of our services. From physics and astronomy to biological, health and social sciences, the EGI e-infrastructure is committed to supporting research and innovation activities.

The scientists relying on EGI services work in large international organisations, in research infrastructures, projects, university labs, or as individual researchers and their stories are highlighted in this publication.

For example, Mario Rizzi Massimo Rizzi and his colleagues at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research used our High-Throughput Compute service to study and analyse the development of the epilepsy disease. The resources he used amount to a total of 200,000 HTC jobs and helped the team to complete their research calculations in less than 48 hours.

Scientist Athena Vakali and her colleagues at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece used Cloud Compute to work on a new model of detecting social media trends.

The Belle II experiment is an example of a large international collaboration that is looking into the imbalance of matter and antimatter in our Universe and relies on EGI High-Throughput Compute and Storage services to analyse and share their data.

The research stories in our new publication would not have been possible without the resources provided by the EGI Federated data centres and the EGI Federated Cloud providers.

We would like to thank all researchers that helped us preparing this publication for their collaboration and support.