Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Introducing the European E-Infrastructure Forum

This afternoon, Bob Jones, EGEE Project Director introduced us to a new forum set up to cover all European e-Infrastructures. The EEF is a forum for discussing principles and practices to help create synergies for distributed Infrastructures and also to achieve seamless services for the European Research Area. The focus of the forum is the needs of the user communities that can only function if they use these infrastructures - they want to see minimal technical and administrative barriers standing in their way.

Current members of the Forum include EGI and EGEE as well as DEISA and PRACE, GEANT and Terena – there is also an ‘empty seat’ left on the forum for European wide data services. Data management is a key concern for all ESFRI projects and the data services providers are still to emerge from the data service community.

The EEF has held a number of meetings with research communities from the social sciences, life sciences and energy research, as well as many others. Some of the ESFRI requirements across all sectors include single sign on, virtual organizations, persistent storage, data management services, standards – especially web services, workflows, training and a global scope – reaching beyond Europe.

The EEF thinks that it can address these common requirements by harmonizing existing services, so that users get consistent access to all e-Infrastructure resources. Joining up user support such as helpdesks across the infrastructure and offering customized training tailored for ESFRI sectors are just some of the ideas to achieve these aims. The EEF also has connections and contacts with sister e-Infrastructures around the world, which could lead to a truly global service for users. A report on their work so far will be out soon.

The process is still ongoing, so watch out for the next meetings, including the DEISA PRACE Symposium in Barcelona in May, the Terena Networking Conference at the end of May in Vilnius and of course the EGI Technical Forum in Amsterdam in September. See you there!

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