User training workshops: Heavy User Communities leading the way

The EGI User Forum 2011 in Vilnius has a packed programme offering a diverse range of workshops, demonstrations, presentations and tutorials with a focus on end-user training. With more than twenty three workshops and tutorials on offer over four days, the EGI-InSPIRE Heavy User Communities (HUCs) shall be playing their part.

Here is an overview of the HUC training workshops:

SHIWA platform

The Life Sciences community will introduce the SHIWA platform, a multi-system workflow execution platform and interoperability solution, supporting Askalon, MOTEUR, P-GRADE and Triana workflows. Workflow environments shield the end-users from the details of the grid infrastructure. The examples used at this training event are taken from the Life Sciences domain, but the tools presented here have much wider applications and should be of interest to all user communities.

  • Location: Theta; Time 11-Apr-2011 @14:00; Duration 03h30'

Using a StratusLab cloud infrastructure

StratusLab open-source cloud distribution allows resource centres to expose their computing resources as an ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ (IaaS) type cloud.

This tutorial presents the main StratusLab features and how they can be used by system administrators and scientists alike. They will learn how StratusLab-based infrastructures can be integrated with the EGI, and how the cloud services complement grid services. Practical exercises will teach the participants how to launch virtual machines, customise their computing environment, share those environments, manage virtual disks, and define complete services.

Participants will be provided credentials to access a StratusLab cloud infrastructure and must bring a laptop with python (2.6+), java (1.6+), and an ssh client installed.

  • Location: Gamma; Time 12-Apr-2011 @11:00; Duration 01h30'

Earth Science Data Processing Tools and Applications

The Earth Science community has a rich and extensive repository of data stored outside EGI and access to this data during job execution is a mandatory requirement. The Earth Sciences community is also interested in using the OPeNDAP protocol and Hyrax Data Server. Hyrax offers many features that go beyond high-performance access to distributed datasets, such as an extensible component-based architecture, multiple data representations, static or dynamic THREDDS catalogues. Due to the many different technologies, data-centres, standards and pseudo-standards, however, it seems that no general solution can be found. This talk should be of interest to anyone interested in these or similar issues.

  • Location: Zeta; Time 12-Apr-2011 @16:00; Duration 00h30'

Shared Services Tools based on the Ganga job definition

Ganga is a user-targeted job management tool designed to provide a homogeneous environment for processing data on a variety of technology ‘back-ends’. Initially developed within the high-energy physics (HEP) domain, Ganga has been adopted by a wide variety of other user communities as their default analysis and task-management system. The modular nature of Ganga means that communities can easily, if desired, develop their own suite of tools independent of both the core code and those of other communities. This presentation will use case-studies to illustrate the ease with which non-LHC communities (for example medical research), have adopted Ganga as their chief job-submission tool.

  • Location: Zeta; Time: 13-Apr-2011 @12:00; Duration: 30'

Experiment Dashboard

The Experiment Dashboard applications for infrastructure monitoring are widely used by the LHC virtual organisations for the computing shifts and site commissioning activities. The LHC Experiment Dashboard consists of:

  • Site Usability Dashboard, which uses tailored VO tests within the existing Site Availability Monitoring (SAM) system;

  • Site Status Board, which allows VOs to construct customised monitoring views;

  • SiteView, a single point of entry for site administrators, to understand how their site is used by the LHC VOs and to detect potential problems and ensure effective site performance.

The Dashboard applications are essential LHC computing operations tools. However, they are generic and can be adapted for other community’s needs. The talk will give an overview the Dashboard applications, highlighting the possibility of exploiting these applications outside the LHC domain.

  • Location: Lambda; Time: 13-Apr-2011 @16:00; Duration: 01h30'

MPI Hands on training

The Message Passing Interface (MPI) standards and their implementations are currently the most prevalent frameworks on which parallel applications are built. A significant problem in exploiting MPI applications on the grid is the inherent nature of its heterogeneous environments. Different MPI implementations, system interconnects or job managers can be found at different resource centres. In order to run an application, the end-user needs some ‘a priori’ knowledge about the resources. MPI-Start offers a unique and stable interface to execute parallel applications at the gLite based grid sites. It aims to hide the differences and complexities of the heterogeneous systems that compose a grid infrastructure by providing a high-level abstract layer. This presentation introduces the basic concepts of MPI, together with a detailed description of MPI-Start and how to use it.

The tutorial is suitable to all users who wish to adapt their MPI-based applications for use on the grid using gLite.

  • Location: Iota; Time: 14-Apr-2011 @11:00; Duration: 01h30'

Kepler

Kepler is a free and open source workflow engine used extensively by the FUSION community. It is designed to help scientists and developers to easily create, execute, share and reuse their models across the scientific and engineering domains. In particular, Kepler includes components that integrate with different middleware stacks (e.g. gLite or UNICORE). Kepler workflows can be decomposed into smaller parts, thus allowing complex tasks to be divided into much simpler ones. This feature provides workflow designers with ability to build re-usable, modular sub-workflows. These can be saved and applied to other workflow. This introductory tutorial should be of interest to all users keen to explore Kepler's powerful capabilities. It will begin by showing how to use Kepler to build basic workflows; use relation paths and synchronisation; and to create control structures such as "if-else" and loops. Finally, job submission, monitoring, and data management shall complete the tutorial.

  • Location: Zeta; Time: 14-Apr-2011 @14:00; Duration: 03h30'


John Walsh, Grid-Ireland Operations Centre, Trinity College Dublin

The countdown for the EGI User Forum has started

With less than a week to go before the start of the User Forum in Vilnius (11-14 April), the organisers are pleased to announce another three keynote speakers invited to the event.

  • Ian Fisk, from FermiLab, will describe WLCG experiences, based on the early results from using their global Tiered data distribution structure (Tier 0-3). These experiences have motivated the proposed move to a cached data model, and he will indicate how this knowledge can help other communities to use distributed infrastructures;

  • Tommi Nyrönen, development manager at CSC –the Finnish IT Centre for Science – and the Finnish contact for the ELIXIR project, will introduce the collaborative ‘Hub and Nodes’ structure of this large distributed European project, and the IT strategies and infrastructure it is exploring to support its research community;

  • Nick Barcet, from Canonical, will talk about how Ubuntu can be used to create Infrastructure as a Service cloud data centres, and is now becoming a popular guest operating system to deploy in public clouds.

They will join the other two keynote speakers, Steve Rawlings from the University of Oxford and Ruth Pordes from the Open Science Grid, announced in March.

Online registration for the User Forum is now closed, but it will be possible to register for the event at the conference site.

See you all in Vilnius!

 

The countdown for the EGI User Forum has started

With less than a week to go before the start of the User Forum in Vilnius (11-14 April), the organisers are pleased to announce another three keynote speakers invited to the event.

  • Ian Fisk, from FermiLab, will describe WLCG experiences, based on the early results from using their global Tiered data distribution structure (Tier 0-3). These experiences have motivated the proposed move to a cached data model, and he will indicate how this knowledge can help other communities to use distributed infrastructures;

  • Tommi Nyrönen, development manager at CSC –the Finnish IT Centre for Science – and the Finnish contact for the ELIXIR project, will introduce the collaborative ‘Hub and Nodes’ structure of this large distributed European project, and the IT strategies and infrastructure it is exploring to support its research community;

  • Nick Barcet, from Canonical, will talk about how Ubuntu can be used to create Infrastructure as a Service cloud data centres, and is now becoming a popular guest operating system to deploy in public clouds.

They will join the other two keynote speakers, Steve Rawlings from the University of Oxford and Ruth Pordes from the Open Science Grid, announced in March.

Online registration for the User Forum is now closed, but it will be possible to register for the event at the conference site.

See you all in Vilnius!

 

Go, Go Gadget AppDB

This week the team behind the EGI Applications Database launched their latest tool, a widget to allow anyone to integrate the database with their website.

AppDB has gone from strength to strength since its launch last summer including a major upgrade late last year. The main aim for the database is for users (and developers) to be able to find out what is already out on the grid that can be used or built upon for their work. For this the AppDB needs to be easy to use, but more importantly easy to find.

During the initial development of the AppDB the developers at the Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications in Greece focussed on producing a resource that could be easily accessed and leveraged by anyone who was interested. Using standard, and easy to understand, protocols the team made it simple to query, and pull results from, the database. The first place to test the underlying technology was the AppDB's very own website.

Now that the tool was easy to use, how could they make it easy to find? Just put it everywhere. On NGI websites, national lab websites even individual scientists websites. There was a snag, the system was simple to understand and use but the effort required integrating it fully into an existing site would be asking a lot. So the team have developed the AppDB Gadget, a widget which can be placed on any webpage and display a simple interface to the AppDB. In less than 500 characters a website can have a fully functioning, fully customised interface to the AppDB available to its users.

One of the important features of the gadget is the ability to customise it for a particular discipline (even sub discipline), virtual organisation (VO), middleware or even where it was developed. This means that depending on the audience the website is for the gadget can be set up to be relevant to that VO, scientific community or underlying technology.

Marios Chatziangelou is in charge of the team building the AppDB and the gadget, he is really happy with their progress "I think we have done really well since taking over last July. Now with the new gadget the entire community can interact with the AppDB from any website that wants to host it. Also more users mean more testing and comments which will help us build on and improve the AppDB".

Go, Go Gadget AppDB

This week the team behind the EGI Applications Database launched their latest tool, a widget to allow anyone to integrate the database with their website.

AppDB has gone from strength to strength since its launch last summer including a major upgrade late last year. The main aim for the database is for users (and developers) to be able to find out what is already out on the grid that can be used or built upon for their work. For this the AppDB needs to be easy to use, but more importantly easy to find.

During the initial development of the AppDB the developers at the Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications in Greece focussed on producing a resource that could be easily accessed and leveraged by anyone who was interested. Using standard, and easy to understand, protocols the team made it simple to query, and pull results from, the database. The first place to test the underlying technology was the AppDB's very own website.

Now that the tool was easy to use, how could they make it easy to find? Just put it everywhere. On NGI websites, national lab websites even individual scientists websites. There was a snag, the system was simple to understand and use but the effort required integrating it fully into an existing site would be asking a lot. So the team have developed the AppDB Gadget, a widget which can be placed on any webpage and display a simple interface to the AppDB. In less than 500 characters a website can have a fully functioning, fully customised interface to the AppDB available to its users.

One of the important features of the gadget is the ability to customise it for a particular discipline (even sub discipline), virtual organisation (VO), middleware or even where it was developed. This means that depending on the audience the website is for the gadget can be set up to be relevant to that VO, scientific community or underlying technology.

Marios Chatziangelou is in charge of the team building the AppDB and the gadget, he is really happy with their progress "I think we have done really well since taking over last July. Now with the new gadget the entire community can interact with the AppDB from any website that wants to host it. Also more users mean more testing and comments which will help us build on and improve the AppDB".

ICTP’s e-infrastructures and climate change research conference

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) invites policy makers, climate change scientists and e-Infrastructure experts to attend its conference on the ‘Role of e-infrastructures for Climate Change Research’. The event will be held in Trieste, Italy at ICTP’s headquarters (16-20 May, 2011).

The programme includes contributions from scientists, e-Infrastructures projects and high-level stakeholders engaged in national and international strategies to tackle the climate change problem.

“The conference is a great opportunity to meet and network, in a unique environment, with policy makers, scientists and e-Infrastructure experts,” says Alberto Masoni, co-organiser of the event and director of research of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Italy (INFN).

Confirmed keynote speakers include Kostas Glinos, head of the European Commission’s GÉANT and e-Infrastructures Unit, George H. Philander, director of African Centre for Climate and Earth System Science at Princeton University, and Bryan Lawrence, director of Environmental Data Curation at the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.

The organisers aim to give all participants an opportunity to present their results and achievements to the community and they will be accepting one-page abstract submissions until 25 March 2011. Registration for the event is free and it’s open until 29 April.

The conference programme is subdivided in four sessions. Two will cover themes such as climate change modelling and adaptation/mitigation policies. There will also be a session addressing the role of e-Infrastructures in climate change studies and another on long-term strategies and policies in the use of e-Infrastructures in this field.

Masoni hopes that “informative presentations from a variety of experts, coupled with interactive roundtable discussions and a series of tutorials will offer participants a wide range of take-aways from the event.”

The ICTP conference on the ‘Role of e-infrastructures for Climate Change Research’ is organised by ICTP in partnership CHAIN, EU-IndiaGrid2 and EUMEDGRID-Support Seventh Framework Program projects.
 

ICTP’s e-infrastructures and climate change research conference

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) invites policy makers, climate change scientists and e-Infrastructure experts to attend its conference on the ‘Role of e-infrastructures for Climate Change Research’. The event will be held in Trieste, Italy at ICTP’s headquarters (16-20 May, 2011).

The programme includes contributions from scientists, e-Infrastructures projects and high-level stakeholders engaged in national and international strategies to tackle the climate change problem.

“The conference is a great opportunity to meet and network, in a unique environment, with policy makers, scientists and e-Infrastructure experts,” says Alberto Masoni, co-organiser of the event and director of research of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Italy (INFN).

Confirmed keynote speakers include Kostas Glinos, head of the European Commission’s GÉANT and e-Infrastructures Unit, George H. Philander, director of African Centre for Climate and Earth System Science at Princeton University, and Bryan Lawrence, director of Environmental Data Curation at the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.

The organisers aim to give all participants an opportunity to present their results and achievements to the community and they will be accepting one-page abstract submissions until 25 March 2011. Registration for the event is free and it’s open until 29 April.

The conference programme is subdivided in four sessions. Two will cover themes such as climate change modelling and adaptation/mitigation policies. There will also be a session addressing the role of e-Infrastructures in climate change studies and another on long-term strategies and policies in the use of e-Infrastructures in this field.

Masoni hopes that “informative presentations from a variety of experts, coupled with interactive roundtable discussions and a series of tutorials will offer participants a wide range of take-aways from the event.”

The ICTP conference on the ‘Role of e-infrastructures for Climate Change Research’ is organised by ICTP in partnership CHAIN, EU-IndiaGrid2 and EUMEDGRID-Support Seventh Framework Program projects.
 

ICTP’s e-infrastructures and climate change research conference

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) invites policy makers, climate change scientists and e-Infrastructure experts to attend its conference on the ‘Role of e-infrastructures for Climate Change Research’. The event will be held in Trieste, Italy at ICTP’s headquarters (16-20 May, 2011).

The programme includes contributions from scientists, e-Infrastructures projects and high-level stakeholders engaged in national and international strategies to tackle the climate change problem.

“The conference is a great opportunity to meet and network, in a unique environment, with policy makers, scientists and e-Infrastructure experts,” says Alberto Masoni, co-organiser of the event and director of research of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Italy (INFN).

Confirmed keynote speakers include Kostas Glinos, head of the European Commission’s GÉANT and e-Infrastructures Unit, George H. Philander, director of African Centre for Climate and Earth System Science at Princeton University, and Bryan Lawrence, director of Environmental Data Curation at the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.

The organisers aim to give all participants an opportunity to present their results and achievements to the community and they will be accepting one-page abstract submissions until 25 March 2011. Registration for the event is free and it’s open until 29 April.

The conference programme is subdivided in four sessions. Two will cover themes such as climate change modelling and adaptation/mitigation policies. There will also be a session addressing the role of e-Infrastructures in climate change studies and another on long-term strategies and policies in the use of e-Infrastructures in this field.

Masoni hopes that “informative presentations from a variety of experts, coupled with interactive roundtable discussions and a series of tutorials will offer participants a wide range of take-aways from the event.”

The ICTP conference on the ‘Role of e-infrastructures for Climate Change Research’ is organised by ICTP in partnership CHAIN, EU-IndiaGrid2 and EUMEDGRID-Support Seventh Framework Program projects.
 

NorduGrid announces conference on ARC middleware

The NorduGrid invites all users, operators, decision makers and developers to register for their annual conference on ARC middleware development. The event will be held at the Sundvolden Hoten in Norway, between 9-12 May. Online registration for NorduGrid2011 is open until 31 March.

NorduGrid is a collaboration set to develop, maintain and support Advance Resource Connector, a free grid middleware more commonly known as ARC.

“This event is the best possibility to learn about ARC, meet the community, including all the key developers,” says Balázs Kónya, NorduGrid’s technical coordinator. “If your NGI is already running ARC, or is considering some of the ARC services, then this is the best event to attend.”

“The main goal of the conference is to promote collaboration between ARC developers, users, system administrators and developers of other middleware stacks,” adds Farid Ould-Saada, the collaboration’s chairman.
This year´s event is special as it coincides with the tenth anniversary of the NorduGrid collaboration.

The scientific programme will focus on how the challenges of middleware development evolved over the past decade, as well as the relationship between NorduGrid’s ARC and the European Grid Infrastructure’s (EGI) middleware, operations and user communities and ARC in the clouds.

Ould-Saada highlights a two-day technical workshop about ARC developments and an ARC user school.

The event was not planned as a regional Nordic meeting and everyone with an interest in ARC is very welcome to come along.

“Nordugrid Conferences always have a very open and special atmosphere where real discussion is possible among all the players: students, researchers, middleware developers, infrastructure operators and politicians,” says Kónya. “It is our community event.”