Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good news goes on at the EGI technical forum

During the plenary session in the morning of the 19th, Steve Tuecke gave an update on Globus by reminding everyone of the motivation behind the project. Needless to say, what matters is the research process. Has cloud completely redefined the way we do science? For Steve the answer is positive. Because: “We need to provide web-based ways to accomplish computing tasks – he states – it’s what our scientists expect. And it will make them more productive.”
What about the research market? Thanks to the cloud, advanced applications and services, such as the Globus Transfer, have been pushed into the research community. In substance, the most important announcement for the audience in this technical forum has been the establishment of a European version of GlobusOnline, which has been created with the help of EGI and IGE.  Even though at the beginning users will not have any way other than to send data to the US, touching Amazon servers. However, Steve explained that plans foreseen for the future also include a non-US version as regards data storage.
One of the most relevant events of the day was the AAI (Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure) workshop, showcasing the advances on this hot topic, potentially simplifying the way thousands of users access distributed infrastructures. Contributions from National Grid Initiatives (NGI) as well as user communities have been taken as a basis to converge to a common decision.     
 “Europe’s ambitions for research and innovation can only be met by ensuring European researchers have access to the best possible e-infrastructure services. Ultra-high speed, high capacity network services are an indispensable element of these e-infrastructure services, and in fact the foundation on which the whole edifice rests.” Today, GEANT with its 40 million researchers in over 8,000 institutions across 40 European countries is perfectly in line with this statement extracted from Knowledge without borders in the report of the GÉANT Expert Group published last year. Helix Nebula, a cooperative cloud project with industry has a main goal to investigate the feasibility of a cloud computing Infrastructure for the European Research Area (ERA) serving as a platform for innovation and evolution for a wide area of applications. This means that high performance network access to the science cloud across the ERA will be an important aspect of its deployment and the relationship with GEANT will make that possible.
An interesting workshop on CHAIN aiming to assess the progress made on interoperability with the demo of the Science Gateway has opened the afternoon. CHAIN’s goal is to further coordinate several e-Infrastructures Initiatives and specifically Grid interfaces addressing various regions of the World with special focus on those emerging in Asia and Africa, as well as in Latin America and Mediterranean.
During all the day many sessions were dedicated to tutorials. In particular, a considerable number of tutorials have been delivered by the EMI crew, featuring latest EMI 2 updates. The focus ranged from the latest releases of CREAM and WMS, insight into YAIM, the migration procedure for DPM (Disk Pool Manager) and the brand new EMIR (EMI Registry). The training sessions have been webcasted, with a number of eager remote participants from NGI.

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