The dissemination activities are of strategic importance to introduce state of the art grid technologies and services to an international community of users covering a broad range of scientific and technological areas. At the same time, the knowledge dissemination events will contribute to further disseminate the project and the benefits of the grid technologies. This is seen as the first step in the process of bringing more Latin American and European groups into EELA. Dissemination will work closely with the other process project activities with a special focus on the knowledge dissemination, that will be the second step in the process, and on the joining, that will be the third.
An efficient coordination between the two tasks is of crucial importance. One of the purposes of this coordination is that trainees can also act themselves as further dissemination vectors within their communities. While dissemination will provide a general picture of the project, knowledge dissemination will provide detailed technical information to the potential users and given them the skills to use the grid-computing infrastructure.
The formation of liaisons with other international Grid projects and initiatives (like EUGRIDLA or HELEN) will be investigated. Additional sources of funding will be investigated including funds from the EU, from the countries of the partners signing the proposal, and other organisations involved in L.A.
The strategic tool and key enabler of WP4 activities will be the INFN GILDA virtual laboratory for grid dissemination and knowledge dissemination which has originally been developed and successfully used in the context of the EGEE Project.
GILDA is a complete and fully functional grid infrastructure whose elements are:
- a testbed consisting, as of today, of 15 sites located in 3 continents;
- a dummy Certification Authority which can issue both users and server certificates (more than 1600 issued so far in EGEE);
- a dummy Virtual Organization including the Virtual Organization Membership Service (VOMS);
- a complete set of documentation about how to become a GILDA user and/or join GILDA as a site;
- a complete set of grid portals (the GILDA Grid Tutor and the GILDA Grid Demonstrator) both based on the GENIUS portal, which are fully compliant with both LCG and gLite middlewares;
- a full set of demonstrative applications that can be used to impress and stimulate attendees to dissemination events.
GILDA runs the latest stable versions of the LCG middleware and gLite middleware so it is the ideal environment to start developing the interfaces between the grid middleware and the EELA applications that have then to be used on the EELA production infrastructure.
GILDA’s key advantages are the following:
- Users only need a certificate to access GILDA. This certificate, delivered by INFN, is valid for 2 weeks.
- The GENIUS grid portal allows quick deployment of new applications.
By its nature, then, GILDA is one of the key enablers of the “virtuous cycle” set-up in the EGEE Project to attract and support new communities. In fact:
- A novice user can get the feeling of what is grid computing and which applications can run on a grid infrastructure simply using the Grid Demonstrator which is available around the clock.
- An interested user participating in a tutorial event or an induction course, can go through all the mandatory procedure of the request of a personal digital certificate and subscription to a VO and then use the Grid Tutor.
- A community that is interested in testing the grid can join GILDA and try to port its applications on its test-bed, thus solving, on a smaller scale, all problems related to interfacing with grid services before entering the huge EGEE infrastructure.
- The various applications from different communities ported on GILDA can be incorporated into the Grid Demonstrator, thus enriching the portfolio of examples that can be demonstrated to newcomers.
- A site, which needs to set-up a computing or a storage resource for a grid infrastructure, can join GILDA in the short term and solve, on a smaller scale, all the problems of installation and proper configuration of the machines.
Up to now, GILDA has been used in more than 45 demonstrative events and induction courses. A
continuously updated list of the tutorials given using GILDA is available at https://gilda.ct.infn.it/tutorials.html.
In the first fifteen months of operation the GILDA web site has received more than 600,000 hits from tens of different countries in the world. Detailed statistics, continuously updated, can be found at https://gilda.ct.infn.it/usage.
GILDA also represents a very good solution to speed up the creation of EELA sites. In this respect, one of the LA partners of EELA (ULA) is already a GILDA site and people at ULA already have all necessary expertise to help other LA sites to configure their machines to become part of GILDA.
The objectives are:
- Coordinate the efforts of Task 4.1 (dissemination) and Task 4.2 (knowledge dissemination).
- Coordinate activities with EGEE using the already available contacts and the Industry Forum.
- Investigate possible liaisons with other EU and International Grid projects.
- Investigate additional sources of funding for the project through contacts with politicians and other decision makers.
The work package management will keep in close contact with the two tasks in the WP. Special attention will be paid to the dissemination and training activities within EGEE (activities NA2 and NA3) in order to adequately coordinate in time and space the EELA project with them. The management will monitor calls for new projects and additional funding from the EU. It will also profit from the experience of the different partners on the funding sources at their own countries. Latin American organisations will be investigated to find out other means of cooperation with the activities in the proposal at the supranational level.
Since some of the partners in the EELA consortium participate in other Grid initiatives involving Latin America (EUGRIDLA, HELEN) this management will coordinate the WP3 activities with them and establish means of cooperation both with the already identified initiatives and with other initiatives that may be found.
The expected results are:
- Links will be established with other Grid projects around the world creating opportunities for collaboration.
- New initiatives will be coordinated with EELA to promote and extend Grid technologies in LA.