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EGEE is a project that aims to integrate current national, regional and thematic Grid efforts, in order to create a seamless Grid infrastructure for the support of scientific research.
EGEE will provide researchers in academia and industry with round-the-clock access to major computing resources, independent of geographic location. The infrastructure will support distributed research communities, which share common Grid computing needs and are prepared to integrate their own computing infrastructures and agree on common access policies.
Mostly funded by EU funding agencies, this project has a world-wide mission and receives important contributions from the US, Russia and other non EU partners.
The short answer is that any discipline which currently relies on advanced scientific computing resources will benefit. In practice, two pilot applications areas have been selected to guide the initial implementation and certify the performance and functionality of the evolving Grid infrastructure.
One is the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid (LCG), which relies on a Grid infrastructure in order to store and analyse petabytes (1015 terabytes) of real and simulated data from high-energy physics experiments at CERN.
The other is Biomedical Grids, where several communities are facing equally daunting challenges, for example for data mining of genomic databases, and the indexing of medical databases in hospitals, which amount to several terabytes of data per hospital per year.
An Application Identification and Support Activity will support the induction of new users and new scientific communities to EGEE's Grid infrastructure.
This activity will operate a pro-active procedure of identifying and supporting early users from a broad range of academic and industrial fields, as well as through proposals submitted by representatives of specific research communities to an EGEE Generic Applications Advisory Panel (EGAAP).
This panel will use the criteria such as scientific interest, Grid added value, Grid awareness and make its recommendations to the EGEE Project Executive Board. Successful applicants will receive support for adapting their scientific software to the Grid environment.
EGEE is a two-year project conceived as part of a four-year programme which officially started on 1 April 2004. It has "hit the ground running" and deployed basic services, initiated middleware and dissemination activities before the formal start of the project. The available resources and user groups will rapidly expand during the course of the project.
A second two-year project is anticipated to follow on from EGEE, in which industry will progressively take up the operations and maintenance of a stable Grid infrastructure from the academic community. This is analogous to the way that GEANT, a multi-gigabit pan-European data communications network for research and education, has progressively transferred operations from the public to the private sector.
EGEE aims to have 3000 users active on the Grid infrastructure from at least five disciplines by the end of the second year of the project. The Grid infrastructure available to EGEE will grow from over 3000 CPUs at the outset of the project to over 8000 by the end of the second year.
Several measures of quality of service will be used to assess the impact of this Grid infrastructure. In addition to demonstrating the added value of Grid technology quantitatively, the project aims to achieve qualitative improvement in terms of new functionality not previously available to the participating scientific communities.
The EGEE Project involves 91 leading organisations from 32 countries, arranged in regional federations, with a combined capacity of over 20000 CPUs - the largest multidiciplinary Grid infrastructure ever assembled.
The EU is funding the project with almost 37 million Euros, with a similar level of funding coming from the project's many partners.
The funding breaks down as follows:
54 per cent for Grid service activities
32 per cent for networking (dissemination, outreach and training, application support, international policy)
14 per cent for middleware re-engineering
The total manpower allocated to the project is approximately 930 person years over a two-year period.
The Worldwide Grid Community & the Project Management Board (PMB)
The process of developing the EGEE project has led to the creation of a worldwide Grid community divided into partner regions. Each region is represented on the Project Management Board (PMB) along with the lead partner CERN, the European Research Networks and LCG. Details of the relevant contact persons for your country or region can be found here.
The EGEE infrastructure will be built on the EU Research Network GEANT and exploit Grid expertise that has been generated by projects such as the EU DataGrid project, other EU supported Grid projects and the national Grid initiatives such as UK e-Science, INFN Grid, Nordugrid and US Trillium. The infrastructure will provide interoperability with other Grids around the globe, including the US and Asia, contributing to efforts to establish a worldwide Grid infrastructure.
How is industry involved?
Industry is involved in the EGEE project in a number of ways. Firstly, the project has a specific activity called the Industry Forum. The purpose of the Industry Forum is to raise awareness of EGEE within industry and encourage businesses to participate in the project and to use its results.
Read more about the Industry Forum >>.
EGEE also has a number of industrial partners involved in the project (such as DataMAT and CSSI) and help guide developments such as the middleware to ensure it is developed in line with industry requirements. The open source middleware (gLite) and the industry friendly software license make it easy to transfer EGEE technology to industry. gLite has been interfaced to industrial packages such as LSF and ORACLE. Through related projects (e.g. health-e-child), the middleware and grid operations techniques are being used for potential industrial exploitation.
There is also an industrial application running on the EGEE Production Service. Geocluster, the leading industry Seismic Processing Solution, is the first industrial application successfully running on the EGEE Production Service, within the Expanding GEOsciences on DEmand (EGEODE) Virtual Organisation (VO). EGEODE is dedicated to research in geosciences for both public and private Industrial Research & Development and Academic Laboratories. It has been running on the EGEE Production Service since early 2005.
More information about EGEODE >>
Finally, the EGEE project is likely to be a source of innovative IT technologies. This spin-off is anticipated to have benefits for industry and commerce going well beyond scientific computing, in much the same way that the World Wide Web, initially conceived for science, has had a much broader impact on society.
Industry is actively encouraged to become further involved in EGEE. Please contact either the Project Office at CERN or the Dissemination and Outreach team for further information.
18,000 CPUs in total. These are shared among several application areas, for example, 3,000 of them are accessible for the biomedical Virtual Organization.
Date Posted : 07/03/06
Linux. The distribution is Scientific Linux 3 (a redhat enterprise 3-based release distributed by CERN).
Date Posted : 07/03/06