2019-bidding/Virtual appliances distribution and management platform

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Service component name: Virtual appliances distribution and management platform


The Virtual appliances distribution and management platform provides:

  • Information about software solutions, 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 EGI cloud providers
  • An information system that captures the discovery information provided by EGI cloud providers and enriches it with other relevant sources of information of the infrastructure.

This system manages

  • Virtual Appliances, which composed by one or more pre-configured virtual machine images packaged with an operating system and software application(s); and
  • 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.

Other types of software may be managed but are not directly part of this call.

Technical description

The service is composed of the following components:

  • 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 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.
  • VM Operations Dashboard, a GUI for the EGI cloud users to create and operate virtual machines based on VMIs catalogued in the system.


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


  • Daily running of the service.
  • Deployment in production of new developments
  • 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 Foundation and EGI Federation member organizations.
    • 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 clear interfaces with the EGI SMS processes and provide the required information.
  • Providers should commit to improving their management system used to support the services they provide.


Support is provided through the EGI Helpdesk.

Support hours: eight hours a day, Monday to Friday – excluding public holidays of the hosting organisation(s).

Service targets

Minimum availability/reliability: 95%/95%

Response to incident records in EGI Helpdesk within support hours: Medium.

Effort (EGI related activities)

Bids planning a total effort of 8 Person Months/year (STC) would allow this service and activities to be addressed appropriately.

Effort (EOSC-related activities)

Partners are encouraged to submit details of activities and proposed costing of effort for EOSC related activities. This may include activities related to the 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