In the last few years Grids have made the transition from early prototypes to production infrastructures as an essential tool for collaborative science. Grids provide the technical and organisational means to allow seamless access to distributed, independently managed resources (computing, data, sensors, etc.). The EDG, EGEE, and EGEE-II projects, as well as related efforts such as DEISA, OMII-Europe, BalticGrid, SEE-Grid, exploiting the pan-European network GÉANT2 and its extensions, have propelled Europe to a world-leading position and helped spread its influence to other regions such as South America, the Mediterranean basin, Asia Pacific, India, and China. This is complemented by close interrelations with similar efforts in the US (TeraGrid, Open Science Grid) and Japan (NAREGI).
EGEE concentrates on establishing an infrastructure that allows existing clusters of commodity computers to voluntarily connect and share their computing power and storage capacities for a wide range of applications. The EGEE-III project will build on the results, competence, and proven ability of the EGEE and EGEE-II projects. It will provide a production level Grid service to a variety of application domains, incorporating national and regional Grid infrastructures, and will contribute to the creation of National Grid Infrastructures as well as to the European Grid sustainability roadmap. This will be achieved through:
The implementation of structural changes according to the sustainability roadmap.
The existing EGEE Grid service, the largest multi-science Grid infrastructure in the world, will further increase its quality and prepare the migration to a sustainable infrastructure. To date, EGEE federates some 250 resource centres world-wide, providing some 40.000 CPUs and several Petabytes of storage. This infrastructure is used by several thousands of scientists federated in over 200 Virtual Organizations on a daily basis. Over 100.000 jobs are served per day by EGEE.
The programme of activities in this project will ensure the coordination of further advances in middleware technology. It will support engineering and integration of existing middleware technologies, both within the EGEE-III project and from other sources to achieve and maintain production quality middleware. The programme will further refine a common operation infrastructure involving operation centres and support centres with a regional presence and centralised coordination. In addition, the programme will provide a coherent training and dissemination programme to ensure a managed and sustainable growth of the user communities benefiting from the Grid. These efforts will provide the building blocks for national Grid infrastructures and directly influence the plans for the European Grid Initiative (EGI). An overall project structure description to show how this will be organised is provided below.
Deployed in a coordinated way, the infrastructure aggregated in this project provides an unprecedented amount of computer power that is easily accessible to scientists from a broad range of different research disciplines. By maintaining the focus of the project on deployment of core services, while in parallel developing advanced services in liaison with strategic application areas, this project will provide the European Research Area (ERA) with a unique competitive advantage. National and regional groups with Grid infrastructures of varying levels of maturity have an opportunity today to access a world class, reliable Grid available world-wide to scientific communities.
The competitive advantage afforded by the EGEE-III activities will also translate into benefits for smaller, less-well resourced sites in the ERA to access computing power that would otherwise be unaffordable, thus easing the digital divide. The competitive advantage will also ensure more efficiently managed computing resources and avoid unnecessary duplication of investment in the ERA. It will also have a structuring effect in the ERA through its work with and inception of national Grid infrastructures. Finally, the dynamic allocation of massive computing power and storage on a pan-European Grid will provide opportunities for the scientific community to tackle new challenges in computational science, which will in turn raise awareness of Grid computing and attract an even wider community of users. In addition, the EGEE-III technology transfer programme will increase the impact of EGEE on businesses, in particular SMEs, thus increasing Europe’s competitiveness.
In order to monitor the progress of the project against these objectives, EGEE-III will implement a metrics programme as described under NA1 activity “Management of the Consortium”, which will measure the key characteristics of the project, including:
The scale of the infrastructure in terms of: sites connected, computing and storage resources made available to the user communities;