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Main Roadmap and Innovation Technology For Users For Resource Providers Media


The current high throughput model of grid computing has proven to be extremely powerful for a small number of different communities. These communities have thrived in the current grid environment but the uptake of e-infrastructure by other communities has been limited. EGI has therefore strategically decided to investigate how it could broaden the uptake of its infrastructure to support other research communities and application design models, that would not only be able to take advantage of the existing functionality and investment already made in EGI’s Core Infrastructure, but also support different research communities and their applications on the current production infrastructure than it was previously able to.

The utilization of Virtualization and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing was a clear candidate to enable this transformation. It was also clear that with a number of different open source technologies already in use across a number of different resource providers, that it would not be possible to mandate a single software stack. Instead, following on from a number of different activities already on-going in Europe including SIENA1, an approach that required the utilization of open standards where available and, where not, methods that have broad acceptance in the e-infrastructure community were essential.

This led to the current EGI Cloud Federation model, a model based on a set of agreed open standards. More details on the EGI Cloud Federation Model is the paragraph below.

Federation Model

Figure 1: Architecture of the EGI Cloud Infrastructure Platform

The federation of IaaS Cloud resources in EGI is built upon the extensive autonomy of Resource Providers in terms of ownership of exposed resources. The federation model for distributed IaaS Cloud resources allows a lightweight aggregation of local Cloud resources into the EGI Cloud Infrastructure Platform (CLIP). At the heart of the federation are the locally deployed Cloud Management stacks. In compliance with the Cloud computing model, the EGI CLIP does not mandate deploying any particular or specific Cloud Management stack; it is the responsibility of the Resource Providers to investigate, identify and deploy the solution that fits best their individual needs for as long as the offered services implement the required interfaces and domain languages. These interfaces and domain languages, and the interoperability of their implementation with other solutions are the focus of the federation.

Consequently, the EGI CLIP is modelled around the concept of an abstract Cloud Management stack subsystem that is integrated with components of the EGI Core Infrastructure Platform (see Figure 1).

This architecture allows EGI to define the CLIP as a relatively thin layer of federation and interoperability around local deployments and integrations of Cloud Management stacks. This architecture defines interaction ports with a number of services from the EGI Core Infrastructure Platform, and the EGI Collaboration Platform. At the same time, it defines the required external interfaces and corresponding interaction ports. All these ports will have to be realized by local Cloud Management stack deployments. The main interaction points of Resource Providers must take care of:

  • Integrate with the EGI Core Authentication & Authorisation Infrastructure
  • Integrate with the EGI Core Accounting system
  • Integrate with the EGI Core Monitoring system
  • Provide a standardised Cloud Computing management interface (OCCI)
  • Provide a standardised Cloud Storage interface (CDMI)
  • Provide a standardised interface to an Information Service

Additionally, by means of using the Appliance Repository and the VM Marketplace from the EGI Collaboration Platform the EGI Cloud Infrastructure Platform is providing VM image sharing and re-use across EGI Research Communities.

Figure 2: Current realisations of the abstract Cloud Management stack component

Figure 2 provides an overview of the current realizations of the abstract Cloud Management stack subsystem in the EGI Cloud federation. It illustrates that each existing realisation inherits the obligation to implement the interaction points from the generalized parent Cloud Management stack. At the same time, the EGI Federated Clouds Task (funded through the EGI-InSPIRE project) gives Resource Providers a platform to share their implementation solutions for a commonly deployed specific Cloud Management stack (e.g. OpenNebula and OpenStack). This page is dedicated to the documentation of the steps necessary to integrate a local deployment of a given Cloud Management stack into the EGI Cloud federation.

Through this collaboration, Resource Providers gradually develop and mature deployment and configuration profiles around common Cloud Management stacks as illustrated in Figure 2. Through mutual support Resource Providers begin to build communities around the deployed Cloud Management Frameworks – the result is better integration of the most popular Cloud Management Frameworks in the Federated Clouds Task as illustrated in table below.

Cloud Mgmt. Stack Fed. AAI Monitoring Accounting Img. Mgmt. OCCI CDMI
OpenStack Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
OpenNebula Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
StratusLab Yes Yes Yes - Yes -
WNoDeS Yes Yes Yes - - -
Synnefo Yes Yes - - Yes -

Interfaces and standards

To federate a cloud system there are several functions for which a common interface must be defined. These are each described below and overall provide the definition of the method by which a ‘user’ of the service would be able to interact.

FedCloud work groups

The FedCloud Task Force activities are split across work groups. A leader is elected for each work group and members of the Task Force are free to spend their effort in one or more groups. Each work group investigates one or more capabilities that are required by a federation of clouds. The work done is recorded in the group workbench and, eventually, translated into the Task Force blueprint.

With the development of the testbed and of the blueprint, new capabilities will be investigated and addressed. As a consequence, new work groups are added to the Task Force when required.

Workbenches (Open issues):

Join the EGI FedCloud Task Force

An efficient and easy to use federated cloud needs more than just the infrastructure services. Convenient, user friendly interfaces for users, operators and developers are also a must. The EGI community is seeking volunteers to work with us on the projects below which aim to improve the use and access to the EGI Federated Cloud work groups. If you are interested in participating or have questions please email the User Community Support Team.

Project name Description
OCCI Web interface The start-up and management of virtual machine images in the EGI Federated Cloud is possible through the ‘Open Cloud Computing Interface’ API. While the OCCI API enables flexible management of images, it is a low level tool an its use requires an experienced programmer/user. This project aims to create and provide a high level, graphical front end interface for OCCI that would empower non-IT communities managing virtual machines on the EGI federated cloud. The interface can be a web browser plug-in, for example an extension of Hybridfox) or can be a portal that is dedicated for serving users of the EGI Federated Cloud.
Grid middleware images Those who wish to operate a distributed computing environment within the EGI cloud would benefit from having grid middleware components available in the EGI Virtual Machine Marketplace. While some of the gLite middleware components have images, many components are missing, and other middleware services (e.g. UNICORE, ARC) are not covered at all. This project aims to create, publish and keep up to date virtual machine images about the complete EGI Unified Middleware Distribution stack in the EGI Virtual Machine Marketplace.
BDII web interface BDII web interface Static information about the sites of the EGI Federated Cloud is stored in a ‘BDII Information System’. BDII is an LDAP based database optimised for frequent queries. The standard query interface of BDII is a command line tool. This project aims to provide a graphical interface that could be used to browse up-to-date information about the EGI Federated Cloud from its BDII information system. The interface could be a web portal, a web gadget or a web browser plug-in.