The EGEE-III activities work together as described in the PERT chart below (Figure ), interacting according to the specific objectives detailed above as follows:
A continuous Grid infrastructure operation will be ensured by the SA activities, specifically, SA1 will provide the infrastructure operation, SA2 will interface with the underlying network infrastructure provided by the NRENs and GEANT, and SA3 will provide the middleware distribution (gLite) deployed on the infrastructure. JRA1 will support this activity by re-engineering and hardening essential middleware components.
All activities will work in close collaboration with EGI_DS to migrate to a self-sustainable infrastructure under the coordination of NA1. The service activities will specifically strengthen the regional aspects of operations and work towards automation of the service provision to optimize the human resources needed for operations. Similarly, the network activities will strengthen their regional components as well. Regular check-points with EGI_DS are foreseen to monitor the mutual progress.
EGEE will expand to new user communities through outreach (NA2), training (NA3) and application support (NA4) activities. This expansion will be facilitated also through a simplification of the usage particularly through the work of the specific discipline clusters (NA4), middleware activities (SA3 and JRA1) and training (NA3).
All activities will provide feedback to standardisation and related policy efforts, in particular OGF through collaboration with OGF-EUROPE, under the coordination of NA5.
The business task in NA2 will work closely with businesses to ensure commercial uptake and to identify commercial providers that want to collaborate with EGEE.
In the following, we give further details how the Networking, Service, and Joint Research Activities of EGEE-III contribute to the overall goals of the project.
Figure : PERT chart of the EGEE-III project activities
The Networking activities presented in the following sections are designed to:
Ensure the management of the project and its consortium;
Provide appropriate dissemination of EGEE-III’s goals and achievements throughout the course of the project, ensuring the project is made attractive to potential users of the Grid infrastructure;
Provide an effective training service to new user communities and guide them in their use of the infrastructure;
Work closely with the user communities, established and new, to ensure their requirements are addressed in a timely and effective manner; helping applications to get started and bridge towards a sustainable model with education and training;
Provide an effective business programme to attract commercial users and ensure appropriate technology transfer.
These activities will work in concert to increase and expand the user base and the uptake of Grid technology in the European Research Area. Work on the long term sustainability of the Grid infrastructure will be carried out through this programme covering dissemination, training, application support, policy work and related efforts both in Europe and worldwide and via interactions with business.
EGEE’s networking activities play an important role in the virtuous cycle described in Section 1.1. New user communities are being attracted by NA2, trained by NA3 and supported by NA4 to ensure their successful exploitation of the EGEE infrastructure. This is complemented by policy work and coordination with collaborating projects as well as the technology transfer programme that will attract business users.
EGEE’s business outreach programme will be part of the dissemination activity (NA2) through dedicated, specific tasks, taking into account the different approaches required when interacting with businesses as compared to academia. This will particularly boost EGEE’s technology transfer activities already started in EGEE-II through the EGEE Business Associate (EBA) programme that attracted companies such as GridwiseTech, NICE, and Platform Computing. Negotiations with other companies (Avanade, Excelian, Hitachi) are underway. EGEE will continue to collaborate with CERN’s openlab programme, a collaboration between CERN and IT vendors (including HP, Intel and Oracle) to develop data-intensive Grid solutions, which also provides an excellent forum for technology transfer.
Close relations with the EGI_DS project will be fundamental to fulfil EGEE-III’s goal of moving towards a sustainable infrastructure. Such interactions will be made through the NA1 and NA5 activities, as well as joint planning for transition of the outreach, training, and user support programmes.
The Service activities in EGEE-III build upon the experience gained and the infrastructure deployed in the predecessor projects EGEE and EGEE-II. This infrastructure is a leading global Grid, in terms both of the scale of resources provided and the number of user communities supported.
The service activities within EGEE-III are aimed at ensuring that the Grid infrastructure delivers a service that focuses on enabling and supporting science in diverse research communities while taking appropriate steps towards a sustainable infrastructure in Europe. This will be achieved through provision of a production infrastructure (SA1), provision of networking support coordination with GÉANT2 and NRENs (SA2), and provision of a middleware distribution to the production infrastructure as well as to related efforts worldwide (SA3). The EGEE middleware distribution (gLite) combines components from different providers, most importantly the EGEE middleware engineering activity JRA1, but also the Virtual Data Toolkit (VDT) distribution of OSG, application projects such as LCG etc. The components are chosen to satisfy the requirements of the EGEE user communities and operations. Interoperability is one of the drivers of the gLite distribution as allowing access to a diverse set of research infrastructures is a major goal of EGEE-III. These infrastructures comprise in particular related efforts such as SEE-Grid, BalticGrid, NorduGrid, and DEISA in Europe, OSG and Teragrid in the US, NAREGI in Japan.
The service activities are closely related and work with the Technical Management Board to ensure the middleware and services deployed and operated by SA1 are as robust, effective, and reliable as possible. SA3 provides essential second level support for the deployed services (on the production or pre-production systems), acting as triage for third level support by the middleware developers or external projects. The SA1 and SA3 activities cleanly separate the problems associated with middleware development and integration from the issues associated with deploying and maintaining a production-quality service. SA2 fulfils the role of interface between the EGEE infrastructure and the NRENs and GÉANT2.
Based on the existing EGEE-II procedures, EGEE-III will provide the following infrastructures in order to carry out its mission:
A Production Service infrastructure, with incremental growth anticipated within the existing structure, and expanded through collaborating infrastructure projects listed in section 3. Interoperability with other Grid infrastructures will evolve at all levels from campus to international.
A Pre-Production Service (PPS) will demonstrate new services, or new versions of existing services before they move to production. This will provide an environment for applications to test new services and to integrate their software with Grid services. The PPS has also shown itself to be invaluable for deployment testing in the Regional Operations Centres (ROC) before full distribution of new or updated services.
The EGEE Network Operations Centre (ENOC) which caters for the network operational coordination between EGEE and the network providers (GÉANT2 /NRENs)
This is complemented by the training infrastructure and the certification test-beds as well as the needed support structures and policy groups.
Joint Research Activities
The EGEE programme has developed an open source middleware distribution, named gLite, which comprises security services, information and monitoring services, data services, job management services and helper services. In EGEE-III, the JRA activity will maintain the middleware and evolve the key services needed for running the infrastructure adhering to open standards where feasible and focusing on production needs. This will require the parallel drive towards middleware which meets the needs of both the production service and the applications. The JRA activity is closely linked to the EGEE-III service and networking activities, providing middleware components to SA3 for inclusion into the gLite middleware distribution, to be deployed by SA1. The application requirements provided by NA4 drive the functional evolution of the middleware. Standardisation efforts as well as collaborations with software industry are of particular importance as this will allow, in the mid-term, to enrich EGEE’s middleware with industry strength components. For instance, the EGEE-II Business Associates programme attracted Platform Computing as a member and has spawned productive discussions with The Mathworks and Hitachi. These interactions will be continued in EGEE-III.
The distribution of effort for the full duration of the project per activity and per beneficiary is detailed in Table below.
Table : Efforts for the full duration of the project per activity and per beneficiary