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2019-bidding/Virtual appliances distribution and management platform

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(to add requirements on software licenses and fitsm training&certification)

Service name: Appliances and software database (AppDB)


The EGI Applications Database (AppDB) is a central service that provides:

  • Information about software solutions in the form of native software products and virtual appliances, linking the programmers and the scientists who are involved, and the publications derived from the registered solutions
  • The tools for the distribution of the virtual machine images in the cloud sites part of the the federated cloud
  • A dashboard to operate virtual machines in the fedcloud sites

Three types of software solutions are offered through the EGI Applications Database:

  • Software items, in its classical sense, i.e. applications, tools, utilities, etc..,
  • Virtual Appliances: composed by one or more pre-configured virtual machine images packaged with an operating system and software application(s)
  • Software Appliances: one or more a set pairs of a virtual appliance and a contextualization script. A Contextualization Script (CS) is the script launched on VM boot time and could be used for installing, configuring and preparing software upon boot time on a pre-defined virtual machine image

Technical description

The service is composed of the following components:

  • Software marketplace: a registry to manage software items like applications, tools, utilities, etc. The software marketplace supports the following categories: Application, Tool, Science Gateway, Workflow, Middleware product.
  • Cloud marketplace: bundles a set of features that are part of the EGI Collaboration platform as:
    • Virtual and software appliances catalog: open library of virtual appliances (bundle of one or more VM images) for use on a cloud or for personal download, supporting VM image management operations like registration of new instances, reuse of existing ones and contextualization.
    • VO-wide image list management: a mechanism that allows linking a list of virtual and software appliances to a VO, which can be automatically and securely distributed to any resource provider supporting the VO.
    • Sites / Resources providers view: list of cloud RPs with information on endpoints, supported VOs, available VM images, flavors and etc.
    • Integration with the EGI Information System: information retrieved by the IS is used to enrich VA, SA and RP view with information useful to interact with the infrastructures.
  • People registry: list of people involved in EGI with links to items registered on the AppDB.
  • Database of VMI queried by the vmcatcher clients at site level, used to store the information about the VMI endorsed by the Federated cloud communities.
  • Software items: registry of software items in terms of applications, middleware products, science gateways, and tools, with the capability of generating and maintaining associative binary repositories.
  • Registry for reference datasets: the service offers capabilities in order to expose information about reference datasets (mainly on biology domain) and their replicas, across EGI.
  • VM Operations Dashboard, a GUI for the Federated cloud users to create and operate virtual machines in fedcloud sites, VM based on VMI stored in AppDB


The service providers must coordinate with the EGI Federated cloud working group, the EGI security for the requirements on VM endorsement and ithe VO Managers to support the distribution of VMIs through AppDB.


The activity includes the daily operations of the following user-facing services:

  • AppDB Portal
    • Rest API
    • VMCaster
    • Community Repository
    • Gadgets
    • VM Ops Dashboard
  • Deployment in production of the developments released in EGI-Engage
  • Maintenance of the services
  • Creating an Availability and Continuity Plan and implementing countermeasures to mitigate the risks defined in the related risk assessment


  • Requirements gathering
  • Documentation
  • Maintenance of probes to test the functionality of the service
  • Filesystem checks and disk usage scans
  • Database management (auditing, updating, performance tuning, backup, etc.)
  • Operating system upgrades, updates, and patches
  • Security management and log auditing
  • Hardware inspection related tasks

Software Compliance

  • Unless explicitly agreed, software being used and developed to provide the service should:
    • Be licensed under an open-source and permissive license (like MIT, BSD, Apache 2.0,...).
      • The license should provide unlimited access rights to the EGI community.
    • Have source code publicly available via a public source code repository (if needed a mirror can be put in place under the EGI organisation in GitHub.) All releases should be appropriately tagged.
    • Adopt best practices:
      • Defining and enforcing code style guidelines.
      • Using Semantic Versioning.
      • Using Configuration Management frameworks such as Ansible.
      • Taking security aspects into consideration through at every point in time.
      • Having automated testing in place.
      • Using code reviewing.
      • Treating documentation as code.
        • Documentation should be available for developers, administrators, and end-users.

IT Service Management compliance

  • Key staff who deliver services should have foundation or basic level ITSM training and certification.
    • ITSM training and certification could include FitSM, ITIL, ISO 20000, etc.
  • Key staff and service owners should have advanced/professional training and certification covering the key processes for their services.
  • Providers should have mature and well-maintained ITSM processes that are key to support the services they provide.


Support is provided through a dedicated support unit in the EGI Helpdesk.

Support hours: eight hours a day, Monday to Friday (9:00 and 17:00 EET/EEST time) – excluding public holidays at the same time in all organizations providing the service.

Service targets

Minimum availability/reliability: 95%/95%

Response to incident records in GGUS within support hours: Medium (see

Effort (EGI and EOSC related activities)

Bids planning a total effort of 7 Person Months/year (STC) would allow this service and activities to be addressed appropriately. Effort may be provided as part of either the INFRAEOSC-07 and INFRAEOSC-03 projects. (EGI Foundation represents also the EGI core services in the 03 proposal preparation.)

Effort (EOSC-related activities)

Partners are encouraged to submit details of activities and proposed costing of effort for EOSC Hub related activities. This may include activities related to development of new functionality required by EOSC communities (e.g. in the case of Appliances and software database, this may include integration with the information systems of different e-Infrastructures) in addition to activities delivering services to these communities