November 2005
E-Infrastructure: Europe Meets the e-Science Challenge
Fabrizio Gagliardi, EGEE Project Director – CERN
Bob Jones, EGEE Technical Director – CERN
Owen Appleton, EGEE Communications Officer – CERN

Toward a permanent research infrastructure

EGEE was originally conceived as the first two years of a four year programme and, in keeping with this vision, the consortium behind EGEE recently submitted a proposal to the recent EU Information Society Research Infrastructures funding call for the second half of this programme, the EGEE-II project.

EGEE-II is a further elaboration of the EGEE mission, learning form the experience of the previous project and featuring a considerably expanded consortium and refocused mission. As well as increasing its consortium to over 90 partners from 32 countries, it increases its global vision by formalising relationships with partners in the USA, Taipei and Korea. In the USA, this also includes other large scale Grid projects such OSG and Grid3, allowing both sides to profit from one another’s experience. Further extension of the infrastructure to the Baltic, Mediterranean area, China and Latin America will be achieved through related projects also submitted to EU Information Society funding calls.

Since the beginning of EGEE, Grid technology has matured considerably, with a great number of projects across the globe producing interesting results. EGEE-II has been planned in light of these developments, allowing it to profit from them as well as passing information and experience back into the community. This has led to a refocusing of the project activities, with a greater emphasis on infrastructure management and a new dedicated effort in middleware certification integration and testing. In parallel, middleware re-engineering within the project will focus more on integrating components from outside sources including Globus, Condor, and the Virtual Data Toolkit (VDT) and from related European Grid projects.

In the applications area, EGEE-II will continue to increase the number of scientific domains and applications running on the infrastructure. This will notably include collaboration with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project (ITER)11 on fusion applications, as well as support for any other interested partners.

Overall, the long term goal of EGEE and EGEE-II is to establish a permanent public Grid infrastructure to support research of all types. Through the course of EGEE, it has become clear that profiting from such infrastructures requires the greatest possible level of interconnection with other similar efforts. As a result, through the course of EGEE, such collaboration has increased considerably, and the plans for EGEE-II were framed with such collaboration in mind. Through this strategy, not only is the effectiveness of the individual projects and infrastructures improved, but it promotes common standards and interoperability crucial to the future of Grid technology for both academic and industrial users.

1 EGEE is funded by the EU Information Society & Media directorate through the Sixth Framework Programme, contract number INFSO-RI-508833.
2 The European Nuclear Research Organization, www.cern.ch/
3 lcg.web.cern.ch/LCG/
4 EGEE uses GILDA, a dedicated testbed for dissemination and training provided by Italy's Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare. gilda.ct.infn.it/
5 South Eastern European Grid-enabled eInfrastrcuture Development, www.see-grid.org/
6 A DIgital Library Infarstructure on Grid ENabled Technology, www.diligentproject.org/
7 eu-datagrid.web.cern.ch/eu-datagrid/
8 Pronounced "gee-lite", www.glite.org/
9 www.gridforum.org/
10 Virtual Organisations (VOs) are systems for allowing distributed communities to work together and share resources on a Grid infrastructure.
11 www.iter.org/

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Reference this article
Gagliardi, F., Jones, B., Appleton, O. "How to Build an International Grid: Infrastructure, Applications and Community," CTWatch Quarterly, Volume 1, Number 4, November 2005. http://www.ctwatch.org/quarterly/articles/2005/11/how-to-build-an-international-grid-infrastructure/

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