Wednesday, May 21, 2014

EGI Federated Cloud launched at community event in Helsinki

The EGI Community Forum 2014 was hosted at the University of Helsinki.
This week, iSGTW is attending the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) Community Forum 2014 in Helsinki, Finland. So far, the event has seen the launch of the EGI Federated Cloud, as well as a range of exciting presentations about how grid and other e-infrastructures are being used to advance excellent science in Europe.

The EGI Federated Cloud has been created to support development and innovation within the European Research Area and was designed in collaboration with a wide range of research communities from across the continent. Built on the experience of supporting scientists’ IT needs for over ten years, the EGI Federated Cloud provides researchers with a flexible, scalable, standards-based cloud infrastructure.

“The Federated Cloud is the next step in evolution for EGI,” says managing director Yannick Legré. “We have to support the researchers and understand their needs so we can engage, grow and innovate together.” At launch, the EGI Federated Cloud offers 5,000 cores and 225 terabytes of storage. However, this is set to increase to 18,000 cores and 6,000 terabytes before the end of this year. Legré also recently revealed to iSGTW that EGI has the goal of ramping this up further to 10,000,0000 cores and 1 exabyte (1,000,000 terabytes) of storage by 2020.

This ambitious vision was reiterated during yesterday’s launch by David Wallom, chair of EGI’s Federated Clouds Task Force. “I am delighted to be able to announce that after so much hard work from everyone involved we now have a research-orientated cloud platform based on open standards that is ready to support every researcher in Europe,” says Wallom. “This is an important milestone for all areas of research in Europe.”

Another highlight of the first days of the EGI Community Forum was a speech given by Thierry van der Pyl, director of ‘excellence in science’ in the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content, and Technology (DG CONNECT). “Today, science itself is being transformed: All disciplines are now becoming computational, with more and more data to be processed,” says Van der Pyl. “E-infrastructures are part of the digital revolution transforming our society, re-inventing industry, and changing science.”

During his talk, Van der Pyl also praised EGI for the progress it has made over the last decade: “I would like to congratulate the EGI community for its achievements in building a truly European infrastructure — I think this is a remarkable result.”

Be sure to follow iSGTW on TwitterFacebook, and Google+ for further updates from the event under the hashtag #EGICF14. We'll also have a full roundup of the event in our 28 May issue.

- Andrew Purcell is editor-in-chief of International Science Grid This Week (iSGTW).

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