EGEE Newsletter
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pointer image Transitioning to EGI
pointer image Highlights from Catania
pointer image Note from Vangelis Floros
pointer image EAC recommendations
pointer image Application Registry Database
pointer image Happy travels EGEE!
pointer image Application Porting Group celebrates first birthday
pointer image New applications ported in Trieste
pointer image Linux5 and gLite
pointer image Simulating cosmic rays with CORSIKA
pointer image Special JOCG issue
pointer image Working with the media
pointer image GridGuide launched


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pointer image Transitioning to EGI: mapping our future


Within little more than a year’s time the organisation of Europe’s grid infrastructure will be transformed. For EGEE’s user community, its new face, the European Grid Initiative, will mean more of a shift in ‘behind the scenes’ focus and responsibility  than a radical transformation in the software and services they currently use.  This future model will be primarily sustained by national funding, with each national grid initiative (NGI) supporting and maintaining its own resources as part of a European partnership and integrated with international partners,  by supplementary funding from the European Commission.

Much has recently happened to make this plan a reality and in the next few months new developments will continue.

The current picture

  • In January representatives of the emerging NGIs in Europe formally endorsed the “EGI Blueprint”, which sketches the form of the EGI model, a signal that the community is moving in a united direction.
  • In March Amsterdam, NL, was selected as the location of EGI’s coordinating organisation,

Next steps

  • EGEE is planning the revision of the project’s second year plans to align its activities with those outlined in the EGI Blueprint.
  • The new hosts of EGI, which will deliver resources to local, national and international collaborations are becoming fully involved in the transition.
  • Transition teams will be established to define how activities within EGEE and other related EC co-funded projects will be handed over to EGI. This may require new procedures which will, where relevant, be developed and refined during the second year of the EGEE project.

Project members will also be interested to know that details of EC calls for funding of the EGI organisation, NGIs, Specific Support Centres and the supporting software will be published in the next few months.

If you are a user of the infrastructure, what will all this mean for you? Hopefully very little.

“The key objective in all of these discussions we are having about EGI is to maintain the level of service currently delivered to the EGEE user community”. said Steven Newhouse, EGEE’s technical director. “Also, by starting to make these changes now within EGEE we can phase them in gradually over the next year and help EGI in its learning process”.

Stay tuned to and for more updates.

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pointer image Highlights from Catania: User Forum wrap up


During the first week of March – in a heavily pasta and seafood flavoured event – over 600 members of the European and international grid community, representing 45 countries, gathered in Catania, Italy for the 4th Enabling Grids for E-sciencE User Forum, co-located with Open Grid Forum 25 & OGF-Europe’s 2nd International Event.


During the week outstanding highlights and announcements included:

  • Amsterdam to host the European Grid Initiative ().
  • Open Grid Forum endorses GLUE 2.0 specification as a proposed standard (press release).
  • Signed Memorandum of Understanding between EGEE and BalticGrid-II ().
  • Results from the Cardiogenics consortium, using the EGEE infrastructure, published in the March 2009 issue of Nature Genetics (press release).
  • Work from the ASTRA project, using EGEE’s computing power to reconstruct the ‘epigonion’, a harp-like, stringed instrument used in ancient Greece. This announcement garnered international press, including the London Times, Discovery News, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland (press release).
  • Best poster award: “Large scale free energy calculations as showcase of worldwide grid usability” by Zora Strelcova, Petr Kulhanek, Jan Kmunicek, Jaraslav Koca and Ludek Matyska ().
  • Best infrastructure demo award: “Scaling out EGEE sites on Amazon EC2 with OpenNebula” by Ignacio Llorente, Ruben Santiago Montero, Constantino Vazquez Blanco, Javier Fontan Muiños and Rafael Moreno Vozmediano ().
  • Best applications demo award: “The e-NMR GRID platform for structural biology” by Alexandre Bonvin and Antonio Rosato ().
  • Honourable mention: “Digital Libraries on the grid to preserve cultural heritage” by Antonio Calanducci ().

Catch more highlights from the week on the , see more than 400 photos from the event on (tagged ‘’) or watch courtesy of GridTalk.

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pointer image A few words from Vangelis Floros
Conference programme committee chairman


What a successful event. We attracted more than 600 people which by all measures is a great number. Catania was a warm host – literally and metaphorically – the food was great, the wine uplifting and the social events gave great opportunities for networking, lots of formal and informal discussions.

The mixture of people, from many scientific and application communities, standardisation groups and collaborating projects proved very successful. Although co-hosting the event made it much more complicated to organise, the final results compensated for all the effort of the past months. Speaking about organisation, you know we started the whole process last June at OGF23 in Barcelona, and since then so many people have been involved and have done their best to make this event possible. For all of us, it was a challenge I think, but the final results made everyone happy and proud.

Now, you know that no two events are the same. Each User Forum, each EGEE Conference has had that certain something, a particular feeling that grows inside you and remains there for a long time. UF4 is no exception. The general feeling I think I will always remember is this anticipation of grid communities about the future of Grid Infrastructures in Europe and the future of this technology in general. conf_center

The anticipation around EGI will continue to grow, as the end of EGEE-III approaches. In Catania we had a very important milestone for EGI: the announcement of the host city of This was a historical moment for the European Grid community and for Amsterdam. Of course the choice of the city is just the start of an avalanche of developments anticipated for the coming months. There is still much work ahead for the transition, and here in Catania this feeling of anticipation and alertness dominated the atmosphere.

As expected, we had lots of discussions about Cloud Computing which, although it remains a very talked-of term, I think it is slowly becoming demystified and better understood. We are starting to realise the potential of clouds and experiment with the technology delivering the first (still modest) results. Together with Green Computing, I believe these will be the two topics that will attract most of the attention of people coming from high-performance and distributed computing communities.

That's it from me. The next rendez-vous is in Barcelona, for the final conference of the EGEE project, a city I believe everybody loves and never tires of visiting. Personally, my mind is already ‘flying’ to UF5 wondering how the European Grid Community will look a year from now. We will be opening the call for bids to host UF5 in the next couple of weeks.

-Vangelis Floros, EGEE

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pointer image Project report card: direction from the External Advisory Committee


During the User Forum in Catania the EGEE External Advisory Committee, or EAC, met to advise the project on how best to serve the interests of the European grid community.

The EAC commended the project on its progress and the success of its adoption. Users at the forum came from radically different disciplines and were using, not just computing power, but EGEE data management services as well. Some users are beginning to use EGEE’s software stack on top of their own resources. “Most importantly”, said the EAC report, “we now see that small groups and individuals users can access resources previously beyond their means.”

The EAC’s key recommendations:

  • Safeguarding EGEE practices that work well: if it is possible not to change something, don’t.
  • Recognise the probability of a gap between EGEE and EGI and plan for it. This may take the form of extending EGEE for several months, running the projects in parallel and migrating services in increments to minimise interruptions.
  • Improve communication with users so that they are fully informed of any changes in their service.
  • Clearly detail what software, resources, operations, policies and standards will be transitioned and which are expected to remain the same.
  • Embracing cloud resources and services as essential elements for grid infrastructure sustainability.

The project’s activity managers are discussing how to best address these recommendations during the second year of the project and will outline their plans by mid-May for approval by the Project Management Board.

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pointer image Well sorted: EGEE’s Application Registry Database


EGEE’s User Community Support and Expansion activity (NA4) has recently completed the Application Registry Database in collaboration with the Application Porting Team at the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) and the SEE Regional NA4 team in Greece, led by the Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications (IASA). The database will be used as a central tool for collecting information about applications ported or to be ported to the EGEE grid infrastructure.

If you haven’t already, register your application. This will help you publicize your work within the grid community and help EGEE understand the impact of the infrastructure. Or search the database to find similar applications, contacts of interesting applications, or local applications related to your domain.

Currently there are two ways to access it online:

From, developed by the Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications in Athens, Greece providing a region-centric view of the database.

And from , developed and maintained by the Application Porting Team, INFN.

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pointer image Happy travels EGEE!


In the next three months EGEE will have a presence at three major European conferences to raise the profile of using grids in research and encouraging new scientists to use the infrastructure.

At the end of March, in partnership with GridPP from the UK, EGEE was at , or CHEP, in Prague, Czech Republic. CHEP is the premier meeting for high energy physics and nuclear physics researchers to discuss using information technologies within their disciplines. EGEE and gLite were referenced in over 50 contributions at the conference – a testament to the importance of our project to these communities!

In April the collaboration will have a stand at the , or EGUGA, in Vienna, Austria. The earth sciences have been valuable members of the EGEE community since the start of the project and were one of the first non-high energy physics groups to use the infrastructure. EGEE’s presence at EGUGA will allow potential new users to learn more about what has been done in the past and how they can get involved in new work.

In a return to Prague, EGEE and EGI will be present at the European Commission’s conference in early May. The two projects were selected by the Commission to have a stand at this event to promote the networking and integration of research activities in Europe, the current operational e-infrastructure in EGEE and the future European e-infrastructure that will be coordinated by EGI. The conference also offers the opportunity for scientists and entrepreneurs to meet, network and garner support for their ideas.

EGEE is always looking for events to attend. If you have a stand at an event, or are organising an upcoming event and would like to present EGEE materials please contact EGEE’s Press and Events Manager Neasan O’Neill at .

-Neasan O’Neill

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pointer image EGEE Application Porting Group celebrates its first birthday, looks back on successes


As in September, EGEE now operates a new service for end users, the . After nearly one year of work the group is celebrating its main achievements.

“It was a busy year for us. We had to set up the group, integrating members from Hungary, Italy, Spain, France and Taiwan. We needed to define the working environments, infrastructures, protocols and the support cycle itself”, says Gergely Sipos, coordinator of the porting group at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.

“I think we did a good job as our effort was rewarded with one of the best demo awards at the EGEE’08 Conference”.

The team provided support for groups with very different backgrounds and needs. Some of them were individuals who could not cope with the complexity of grids alone, who could not get their research computation done without the porting team. Others – mainly representatives of grid user and development projects – requested support for rather complicated scenarios that often end up in user friendly environments and grid applications for their consortia.

The group is able to meet a wide range of requirements by porting tools from the EGEE’s RESPECT program. This collection of software builds on the core grid middleware enable complex workloads with parameter sweeps, workflows, MPI programs, portals, or interactive jobs.

“The more applications we work with, the more experienced we become. Moreover, as the providers of several RESPECT tools are also involved in the porting group these tools also advance as a result of direct feedback that we receive from our clients”, said Sipos.

“An application specific science gateway extension of P-GRADE Portal or support for gLite CREAM Computing Element in Gridway are just two examples of such features”.

“We do our best to fulfill every porting request. As our continuously growing shows we ported quite a few applications so far, but we cannot relax because several applications are ”. 

In the second year of EGEE's the transition to EGI is a major task for the porting group too. However, ensuring users are not left without proper during this period is even more important for them.

Want to sign up for support? Get involved

The Application Porting Support welcomes any application developer with demands for large computational and data storage resources a platform for distributed applications.

At the of the EGEE application porting team you can find further information about current applications, past success stories and how to apply.

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pointer image From biomedicine to engineering to math: new applications ported in Trieste


At the grid school, “II Corso di formazione INFN su aspetti pratici per l’integrazione di applicazioni in GRID” (INFN’s informational course on practical aspects for the integration of applications in GRID) held in Trieste, Italy, in December 2008, a handful of new applications were ported to EGEE’s infrastructure ( in Italian).

: From the engineering domain, the goal of this software is to automatically design an antenna which meets a set of predefined requirements. By using a type of programming that mimics genetics, an initial population is randomly generated, and generation by generation the best solution is selected until the user defined goal is reached.

Fast Prime Generator Large Numbers Split Approach: From the mathematics domain, this software will be developed to investigate management problems for long numbers in the framework of the fast prime numbers generators.

, Computer-Aided Detection system based on Region Growing: An application for biomedicine, this computer-aided detection system will help in the identification of lung nodules from computer tomography (CT) images.

, an engineering application from the experiment, which investigates neutrino-less double beta decay. Observing these processes will give fundamental information concerning neutrinos.

, Silicon detectors with Low Interaction with Material: A physics application developed at INFN, which aids silicon tracking detectors .

EncryptME: A grid service application, this allows users to encrypt a file on the local machine. In addition, the user can select a set of parameters in order to drive the encryption process.

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pointer image Linux5 and gLite


Releasing on the main target platform Scientific Linux 5 (SL5) began this quarter. As a first step the gLite 3.2 Worker Node was released on March 23.

The other gLite node types will also be ported to SL5 step-by-step. This work is expected to be complete by September 2009. Learn more by contacting gLite release manager .

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pointer image Simulating cosmic rays with CORSIKA


The – an astrophysical detector in western Argentina seeking to capture events related to ultra-high energy cosmic ray showers (in the gamma spectrum) – has a new tool.

In the culmination of two years work CESNET – operator of the Czech National Research and Education Network and EGEE partner – finished and a dashboard for (COsmic Ray SImulations for KAscade) at the 4th EGEE User Forum. This dashboard allows close monitoring of in-production CORSIKA showers, and provides list of available files for users. These simulations allow researchers to monitor the quality of their models by comparing real events with simulated ones.

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pointer image Special EGEE issue of the Journal of Grid Computing


EGEE is teaming up with SpringerLink, publishers of the , to produce a special issue: “EGEE applications and supporting technologies.”

This will give an opportunity to the 96 oral presenters at the User Forum, to prepare a full paper describing their work, which will be reviewed by their peers.

The publishers are looking for 15-20 page papers describing original and significant work involving applications on EGEE, and the use and development of key grid technologies.

Areas of Interest:

  • Scientific results obtained using grid technology
  • Planned or on-going scientific work using the grid
  • Experiences from application porting and deployment
  • Grid services exploiting and extending the gLite middleware (job management, data management, monitoring, workflows etc)
  • Programming environments
  • End-user environments and portal technologies
  • Emerging technologies within the EGEE infrastructure (cloud, virtualization etc.)


Deadline for paper submission: 31 July 2009
Final acceptance confirmation: March 2010
Final edition publication: September 2010

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pointer image Working with the media: become a star interviewee


We realise that working with members of the media – whether they be EGEE-employed disseminators or independent journalists – can be a nerve-wracking exercise. It doesn't need to be.

Working with journalists is a great way to share your work with the public and with funding agencies. With a little training and preparation, your interview can be productive for both you and the reporter. We hope you will find the following notes useful when sharing your work with reporters. (We especially recommend filling out a “message box”.)

- EGEE Dissemination Team

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pointer image The global sites and sights of grid computing: GridGuide launched!


Want to know what science is on the grid, who the scientists are and where they work? Check out the new website from GridTalk. is an innovative introduction to the sites and sights that contribute to global grid computing, a technology that connects computers from around the world to create a powerful, shared resource for tackling complex scientific problems.

The GridGuide website allows visitors to explore an interactive map of the world, visiting a sample of the thousands of scientific institutes involved in grid computing projects. Sites from 23 countries already appear on the GridGuide, offering insider snippets on everything from research goals and grid projects to the best place to eat lunch, and the pros and cons of their jobs.

EGEE announced the launch during the 4th User Forum in Catania, Italy. Read the full press release.

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EGEE: Enabling Grids for E-sciencE
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