Federated Cloud Task Force

From EGIWiki
Revision as of 21:38, 16 April 2015 by Krakow (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
Overview For users For resource providers Infrastructure status Site-specific configuration Architecture


EGI is a federation of national and domain specific resource infrastructure providers comprised of individual resource centres. Many of these resource centres have been experimenting with the deployment of virtualised management environments to improve the local delivery of services. Many of EGI’s current and new user communities would like to access the flexibility provided by virtualisation across the infrastructure on demand in a ‘cloud like’ environment. Federating these individual virtualised resources is a major priority for EGI that has started with the EGI User Virtualisation Workshop, and the drafting of the EGI Cloud Integration Profile.


  • write a blueprint document for EGI Resource Providers that wish to securely federate and share their virtualised environments as part of the EGI production infrastructure;
  • deploy a test bed to evaluate the integration of virtualised resources within the existing EGI production infrastructure for monitoring, accounting and information services;
  • investigate and catalogue the requirements for community facing services based on or deployed through virtualised resources;
  • provide feedback to relevant technology providers on their implementations and any changes needed for deployment into the production infrastructure;
  • identify and work with user communities willing to be early adopters of the test bed infrastructure to help prioritise its future development;
  • identify issues that need to be addressed by other areas of EGI (e.g. policy, operations, support & dissemination).


The Task Force mandate lasts eighteen months, from Sept 2011 to March 2013. The Task Force activities are organised in three, six-months long phases. During each phase, the Task Force evaluates a set of scenarios that an EGI federation of clouds should support. The scenarios are chosen by collecting use cases and requirements among user communities, resource providers and technology providers that have already adopted cloud computing or are planning to do so in a near future.

One or more work group is created inside the Task Force in order to evaluate each scenario. A leader is appointed for each work group and one or more collaborators are chosen among the Task Force members. The scenario evaluation performed by each work group is recorded in workbenches and consists into:

  • defining the set of capabilities that an EGI cloud infrastructure should have in order to support the given scenario;
  • evaluating whether and what standards are available to implement the required capabilities;
  • evaluating whether and what software solution is available to implement the required standards;
  • evaluating the level of support of such software solutions by the Resource Providers members of the Task Force;
  • evaluating the procedures to deploy the required software solutions into the infrastructure of the Resource Providers;
  • devising tests to be run on the cloud infrastructure of the Resource Providers in order to simulate the given scenario.

Once the scenario has been evaluated and, when possible, the required software and tests have been deployed in the Task Force test bed federated cloud, the members of the work group proceed to write a section of the blueprint document. Altogether, the blueprint document describes the set of capabilities that define an EGI Cloud Federation. The blueprint focuses on the infrastructure layer of the federation and each work group is tasked with documenting at least one core capability. Each section of the blueprint is structured as follow.

  • Overview. The scenario and use cases from which the capability has been investigated are briefly introduced.
  • Definition of the capability. The functional properties, interfaces and available standards for implementation are described and analysed. A reasoned choice is made about what standards and implementations should be endorsed by an EGI cloud federation.
  • Deployment scenarios. The deployment infrastructure(s) and topology(ies) for the implementation of the capabilities are described and analysed.
  • Testing the capability. When possible, a description is given of the tests used to simulate the scenario requiring the capability under exam.
  • Security considerations. Security is a particularly sensitive topic in a federated infrastructure. Each capability has its own security evaluation with references to the EGI policy documents and security guidelines.
  • Solution inventory. A critical review of how the capability under exams is implemented – or not implemented - by the Virtual Machine Management platforms deployed by the Resource Providers participating to the Task Force.

The progress of the activity of each work group is available in the workbenches summary section.


The Task Force operates on its mailing list and on a weekly conference call. At the moment, our effort is organised in work groups that any member of the Task Force is free to lead or to contribute to. Each member of Task Force can organise a meeting dedicated to further progress a specific workgroup activity.

The Task Force meet every Tuesday at 11:00 CET in a conference call. Minutes of the meetins are publicly available.

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.

Activity 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.


  1. Wiki
  2. Mailing list (incl. Mailing list archive)
  3. Meeting planner
  4. Task Force Management & Actions tracker


  1. Task Force Mandate: https://documents.egi.eu/document/720
  2. Task Force Roadmap: https://documents.egi.eu/secure/RetrieveFile?docid=803&version=1&filename=lyon_20092011_v3.pdf
  3. Other EGI Virtualisation activities: https://wiki.egi.eu/wiki/EGI_Virtualisation_Activities