The key components of any e-Infrastructure are Grid enabled computing resources and networking infrastructures. Grid technology uses middleware to enable services allowing a shared use of the computing resources, from distributed storage to parallel computation in clusters. Enhanced applications in e-Science profit of these resources by accessing these services within a framework defined for each research collaboration that is known as a Virtual Organization.
An important objective of the EELA project is to setup a pilot e-Infrastructure in Latin America interoperable with EGEE (Enabling Grids for e-Science, Europe), that will enable the knowledge dissemination towards research communities through two different lines: the technical know-how about sharing a computing infrastructure using Grid technology, and the possibility to test and execute enhanced applications by researchers collaborations.
As a basic premise, the proposal will start from a well-known framework, the one currently in operation in the EGEE project, where the European partners have already a successful experience. Partners in Latin America with early Grid pilots, share already the experience in basic middleware components like Globus, and in the installation of open systems like Linux.
EGEE is the largest e-Infrastructure in operation in the world, sharing in an interoperable mode more than 14.000 CPUs and 5 Petabytes of storage. The middleware deployed is based on the Globus and VDT toolkit, plus EDG / LCG and EGEE higher-level middleware, the most significant component being gLite.
Some of the EELA partners -CIEMAT, CSIC and LIP- have already the experience of EGEE, where they participate operating the distributed South-West Europe Resource Operation Center. Their expertise includes from fabric management and installation issues, to running Virtual Organization Management Systems and Certification Authorities. Other partners, like INFN, are responsible in EGEE for the identification and gridification of generic applications, and also in the knowledge dissemination activities. Moreover, several of the Latin-American partners, notably UFRJ and ULA, also have experience in the installation of the EGEE middleware.
Regarding enhanced applications, UPV is currently responsible for the gridification of several of the Bio-med applications in EGEE, and UC has a similar experience in the climate field in the European CrossGrid project. UPV and UC will provide an adequate advice to the partners related in those application fields.
In what concerns to network connectivity, GÉANT, ALICE and RedCLARA networks will provide a first class interconnection between the European and Latin-American countries (most of the partners enjoy a more than reasonable connection up to the sites).
Critical areas, such as network parameters optimization, network usage monitoring, data transfers and problem identification and reporting, have been identified. Besides, the adoption of advanced mechanisms, in particular those being studied in EGEE on topics like Service Level Agreement (SLA) and Quality of Service (QoS), must be considered.
Moreover, the most challenging part of this pilot deployment will be the setup and operation of Virtual Organizations supporting the activity of researcher communities that can be both geographically and world-time dispersed. The deployment of a common efficient support for collaboration requires a highly coordinated framework. All this work will take place using already available middleware and tools. Very minor adaptations could only be considered in order to assure the interoperability between Latin American and European Grid initiatives, in particular EGEE.
The list of objectives and indicators is the one that follows:
- Objectives 2.1: support the setting up of basic mechanisms for an interoperable e-Infrastructure, starting by the adoption of a security policy based on public and private certificates and establishing Certification Authorities guaranteeing a wide international cross-acceptance; study and define the basic tools and middleware that will be used; set up a new connection with the relevant forums and communities involved worldwide. The progress towards these objectives will be reflected in Certification Authorities in operation, setup of basic middleware and tools repository and cross-participation in relevant forums.
- Objectives 2.2: support the setting up of a Pilot Grid testbed including sites in Latin America and in Europe; establish adequate operational services as an e-Infrastructure; support the establishment of Virtual Organizations (VOs) for identified research communities; provide adequate support for application developers and users, ranging from portals and virtual desktops for execution and monitoring tools to membership management or accounting recording. The progress indicators include number of sites integrated in the testbed in Latin America and Europe, resources available, structure of support centres and services offered, support requests, testbed availability, operational status logs from monitoring, including execution of tests, successful execution of researchers applications, number of users in each VO, number of applications ported to the EELA testbed, accounting records per VO, support mechanisms in place like helpdesks (issues raised).
- Objectives 2.3: support advanced use of the network and fully integrate it in the shared e-Infrastructure scheme. The advance will be reflected in coordination mechanisms in place for advanced services like request of end-to-end connectivity, data transfer parameters, Support Level Agreements (SLA) and Quality of Service (QoS), shared monitoring tools between Network Operation Centres (NOC) and Grid Operation Centres (GOC). Reports on connectivity, records on issues detected and actions taken for improvement.