Monday, March 18, 2013

CHAIN-REDS Workshop @ ISGC2013

As Tom mentioned the ISGC conference here in Taipei has some meetings before the main event begins tomorrow. Starting at 9am local time (2am CET!!) was the CHAIN-REDS workshop and with Tiziana Ferrari, EGI's Chief Operations Officer, giving a talk during the day I thought I'd pop along.

The meeting opened with an introduction from Federico Ruggieri with interesting information on the aims, progress, future plans and partners for the project. The real takeaway message from this talk however was the wide range of international and diverse e-science infrastructures working with CHAIN-REDS. They're not resting on laurels though and they are aware of many scientific, technical and educational issues facing them.

The rest of the day expanded on the areas introduced by Federico as well as views from outside of the project (hence Tiziana's appearance). Roberto Barbera from INFN ran through various technical aspects of the project, what they have achieved and what still needs to be done. Up just before the first coffee break Ognen Prnjat (from GRNET) discussed how the project is involved with/and using Cloud and HPC efforts.

After a caffeine and pastry pit stop we're back for a group photo. Then Rafael Mayo from CIEMAT took us though the data infrastructures being used in CHAIN-REDS, how the project integrates them and their place in the project. Up next was Ludek Matyaska from CESNET discussing the project's roadmap across its entire remit, including interoperability, science gateways and networking. After Ludek was Tiziana introducing EGI's operations and best practises. As if to prove the efficiency of the group, we get done early and jump to the front of the lunch queue.

Alexandre Bonvin in EGI's "Stories from the Grid"
We reconvened after lunch with Alexandre Bonvin from WeNMR explaining their view on/interactions with CHAIN-REDS. They have a lot of users outside Europe that means project's like CHAIN-REDS are very important to them. The talk was very interesting and the amount of work they do and infrastructures they have access to is amazing. It's no real surprise they were highlighted as doing "Excellent Science" by the European Commission.

After Alexandre we had some "local" input from Peking University (sadly Ping Chen couldn't attend, but their talk was presented in their absence). It was interesting to see how identity management is being handled in one of the most populous countries in the world. Next was a proper local talk as Eric Yen (from our hosts ASGC) talked about the e-infrastructures/resources/services available in Taiwan.

After a brief break we came back to the last two talks of the day. The first was on India's e-Infrastructures from Abey Jacob. They have a wide range of disciplines alongside the ubiquitous wLCG, including the a collaboration with caBIG the U.S. funded Center for Bioinformatics and Information Technology. Then we had an introduction to the project. It was great to see the work going on across Africa and with international partners, I'll paraphrase one comment at the end "Welcome Africa, we've been waiting for the continent to get more involved" (not a reflection on projects like SAGrid and others, who have been doing amazing work for a long time now).

This was all followed by an interactive discussion among many people in the room about various aspects of how use of e-Infrastructures can be simplified for use by new users/communities/countries. Authentication and authorisation being of particular interest with the different demands, needs and technical knowledge changing on a case by case basis.

It was a full day, covering a massive range of topics but always keeping it relevant. Each talk was followed by some quite probing questions teasing out more details and some good discussions. It was also nice to note that EGI was referenced many times as a good role model and as a system that was a core component of their plans.

Well roll on the first real day tomorrow...

No comments: