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Big European research centres define road map to e-Infrastructure Commons

According to an article published on Primeur weekly magazine, at the e-IRG workshop in Vilnius, Bob Jones presented the vision of the EIROForum on the e-IRG proposed e-Infrastructure Commons. EIROForum is a collaboration between a number of large European Research Centres, including CERN, ESA, EFDA, and EMBL. EIROForum proposes to form "Research Accelerator Hubs" (ReAcH) that should be networked together. a ReAcH should be, in the vision of EIROForum, a sustainable, inclusive, flexible, integrated, innovative user driven e-Infrastructure. ReAcH can be owned and operated by a mixture of commercial companies and public organisations offering a portfolio of services.

According to Bob Jones, Research Accelerator Hub examples are EMBL-EBI that integrates genome datasets and services and integrates with, for instance, Helic Nebula HPC services.

The ReAcH at Bob Jones' CERN will focus on a data-centric service platform on which more sophisticated services can be developed around physics data. It will use the resources installed by CERN at the Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Budapest, Hungary.

Most European distributed computing infrastructures depend heavily on short term project funding. Bob Jones identifies some challenges here. In addition he notes there is a lack of control. Bodies such as and NGIs do not have ownership of the computing sites they co-ordinate. There are also high operational costs as there are a large number of small-scale sites offering identical services. Project funding also means a lack of interoperability and flexibility, as the project structure means users cannot easily combine and swap services.

Long lived ReAcHes that have a mix of long term funding and pay-per-usage services, that own large scale resources are better positioned, said Bob Jones. He proposes to consolidate distributed computing infrastructure sites into a reduced number of ReAcH with sufficient capacity to host a larger and more diverse portfolio of services. Volunteer computing infrastructures should be integrated into the e- infrastructure Commons. Publicly funded computer sites should be integrated with commercial Cloud services providers in a hybrid platform.

Not all distributed computing on a European scale can be done in the new ReAcHes. What should distributed computing infrastructure sites do that do not become a ReAcH?


Read more on Primeur weekly magazine

Tagged in: E-infrastructure Hub
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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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