European e-Infrastructure

Print PDF

A series of European initiatives are involved in deploying and operating the European-wide e-Infrastructure. These initiatives cooperate with national programs at European and extra-European level. Eu-IndiaGrid supports and fosters collaboration between researchers from Europe and India in a wide range of scientific areas. The ICT infrastructure for science is called e-Infrastructure and is the elementary building block of the e-Science. e-Infrastructure is an environment where resources  such as hardware, software and content  can be readily shared and accessed by the research community This will improve research processes and utlimately  lead to more effective research, boost international cooperation and increase international collaboration. This new research environment will see researchers from Delhi to Brussels and from Peking to New York, having shared access to unique or distributed scientific facilities (including data, instruments, computing and communications), whether they are working in the context of their home institutions or in national or multinational scientific initiatives.

The following intiatives are key to this process and are collaborating with EU-IndiaGrid2.

The European Grid Initiative - EGI

The grid infrastructure scenario in Europe is at present marked by the transition from EGEE to EGI.  Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) was Europe's leading grid computing project, providing a computing support infrastructure for over 13,000 researchers world-wide, from fields as diverse as high energy physics to earth and life sciences. In its final phase EGEE-III focused on transitioning to a sustainable operational model, while maintaining reliable services for its users. The resources formally coordinated by EGEE will be managed through the European Grid Infrastructure.

Real Time Monitor, Courtesy of Imperial College, London and GridPPEGI-InSPIRE (European Grid Initiative - Integrated Sustainable Pan-European Infrastructure for Researchers in Europe) is a collaborative effort  involving more than 50 institutions in over 40 countries. The associated European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) includes in excess of 300 sites across 50 countries, offering around 240,000 processor cores, and more than 100 petabytes of tape and disk storage. The infrastructure is available to users around the clock, achieving a sustained workload of half a million computer tasks, or jobs, every day.

EGI-InSPIRE is coordinating the transition from the previous project-funded system to a sustainable pan-European e-Infrastructure, by supporting ‘grids’ of high-performance computing (HPC) and high-throughput computing (HTC) resources. EGI-InSPIRE is also ideally placed to join together the new Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs) such as clouds, supercomputing networks and desktop grids, for the benefit of user communities within the European Research Area.

National Grid Initiatives (NGI) have been established to coordinate the development and deployment of local grid infrastructure in nearly every country across Europe. NGIs are coordinated by a new organisation – EGI.eu – which manages the European Grid Infrastructure on behalf of the NGIs, according to the vision outlined in the European Grid Initiative Design Study project  and building on the experience of the European Data Grid (EDG)  and Enabling Grid for E-SciencE (EGEE) series of projects. Together, EGI.eu and the NGIs are establishing a permanent and sustainable grid infrastructure. The EGI is initially co-funded by EGI-InSPIRE and, through this project, EGI.eu is working to support interoperability between the NGIs and the existing middleware distributions, such as gLite, UNICORE  and ARC.

EGI users are represented by virtual research communities, covering Bioinformatics, Chemistry, High Energy Physics, Fusion Physics, Health Science and Medicine, Life Science, Astrophysics, Earth Science, Earth Observation, Humanities and Computational Science.

EGI is an integral part of the World Wide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) which is used to analyse the huge amount of data generated by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research. It's no mean feat. As the world’s largest experiment, built to investigate the building blocks of matter, the LHC will produce an expected 15 petabytes of data per year (that's three million DVDs, or 20,000 years of music in MP3 format).

European Middleware Initiative - EMI

In addition to EGI Inspire another recently approved FP7 project, the European Middleware Initiative, will be dedicated to harmonising middleware for deployment in EGI as part of the Unified Middleware Distribution (UMD).  EMI is a close collaboration between the three major middleware providers, ARC, gLite and UNICORE, and other software providers.  It will deliver a consolidated set of middleware components for deployment in EGI (as part of the Unified Middleware Distribution or UMD), PRACE and other DCIs, extend the interoperability and integration between grids and other computing infrastructures, strengthen the reliability and manageability of the services and establish a sustainable model to support, harmonise and evolve the middleware, ensuring it responds effectively to the requirements of the scientific communities relying on it.

The  Initiative for Globus in Europe - IGE

In order to continuously support the European computing infrastructures and to exploit possible synergies, the Initiative for Globus in Europe (IGE) coordinates European Globus activities, drive forward Globus developments according to the requirements of European users, and strengthen the influence of European developers in the Globus Alliance.

IGE serveS as a comprehensive service provider for the European e-infrastructures regarding the development, customisation, provisioning, support, and maintenance of components of the Globus Toolkit.