Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The EGI Technical Forum 2012 is taking place at the Clarion Congress Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic.

18 September 2012: A new exciting day at the EGI technical forum in Prague… The European Commission held a Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCI) concertation meeting this afternoon to elicit the strategic ideas from the best and brightest users and suppliers in Europe. As we move to the next round of funding, Horizon2020, that has some emphasis on excellence in science, it’s important to encourage collaboration and sharing of knowledge. Training, expertise, dissemination, many open access activities…all these are essential and need evolution of the different GRID and cloud applications and models. The interesting talks described the future perspectives for the DCI for e-science. They covered different aspects of e-infrastructures, what they are, what the users need and expect in the years to come. The issue of combining commercial and government funded services into solutions for user communities was covered especially in the area of cloud computing. Users will likely continue to demand an ever greater variety of cost effective services and expect e-infrastructures to deliver them. Antonella Galizia, one of the speakers, says: “We need to be able to attract new scientists and other scientific communities.” That’s not all: research is going to be massively dominated by the digital generation, interpretation and storage of information. This means that we should have not only new technological challenges to deal with this but also a better involvement of the end-users community. “We want to connect all clouds services – continues Andres Steijaert – “to connect the users only once, and not to each group. We want to produce community clouds together.” Have you ever thought what could be the advantage for global scientific research of setting up a truly open software developers’, administrators’ and users’ community including not only scientists, providers, and laboratories but also commercial companies? As a result of this inquiry, only a few months ago EMI announced the birth of ScienceSoft, a marketplace bringing software innovators and the science users together. Today, ScienceSoft is already ready to call for new participants, as announced by Alberto Di Meglio, EMI project manager and president of the ScienceSoft Steering Committee, in another session at the EGI technical forum. The announcement was complemented by the description of product use cases supporting science in distributed systems, with concrete examples referring to VRE (Virtual Research Environments) having huge computational and storage demands.

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