Glossary V1

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Glossary of Terms List of Acronyms : A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Terms and Definitions

EGI Glossary - Version 1 - Approved June 1, 2012 (maintained by the EGI Glossary Coordination Group) Errata:

  • 7 Aug 2012 updated ERA definition with the official definition from the European Commission

EGI Glossary - Version 2

  • Major changes were the addition or update of IT service management terms from FitSM-0
  • Minor changes (e.g. acronyms)

EGI Glossary - Version 3 - Editing in progress as of September 2016

  • Major changes are the alignment with IT service management terms from FitSM-0 and the new EGI governance
  • Minor changes (e.g. acronyms)

Why a Common Glossary

The EGI Community is composed by a large number of heterogenous actors who contribute to providing or consuming services for e-Science. Policy makers produce policies and procedures that govern the EGI processes; dissemination experts write articles for communicating the progress and results in using or evolving EGI; end-users write papers on research results achieved through the infrastructure; technology providers report on the advancement of technology components that enable EGI to operate and so on. From many parties, it has been often expressed the need to identify a common set of terms which definition is agreed and shared so to improve the understanding and consistency of documents. The goal of the EGI Glossary is to address this problem by identifying and maintaining a shared set of terms across all the functional areas of EGI in order to enable a consistent understanding and usage within a well-defined scope. The EGI Glossary is maintained by the EGI Glossary Coordination Group who collect feedback from the whole EGI community through the EGI policy boards.

How to Reference

Terms and Definitions

  • Where a definition of a term includes another term, those related terms are given initial capitals
  • The form 'See also Term X, Term Y' is used at the end of a definition where an importan related term is not used with the text of the definition itself

EGI Glossary
Term Abbr. Definition
AUP A set of terms and conditions applicable to the Users of an IT Infrastructure.
An entry in an accounting database identifying the quantitative usage of Resources by Users.
A predefined collection of software products that are deployed together so that it appears as a single undividable service or application that implements one or more IT Capabilities.
Describes the rationale of how an organisation creates, delivers, and captures value. The process of business model construction is part of business strategy. The term business model is used for a broad range of informal and formal descriptions to represent core aspects of a business, including purpose, offerings, strategies, infrastructure, organizational structures, trading practices, and operational processes and policies.
The ability of an IT Service to carry out an activity.
CRC A Resource Centre that conforms to the requirements specified in the Resource Centre Registration and Certification Procedure.
A Platform deployed on top of an Infrastructure Platform providing capabilities useful across multiple (if not all) research communities irrespective of their scientific domain and enabling the collaboration within and across communities.
A Platform that provides a set of Services customised for the needs of a specific community to enable their users to run specific applications.
An IT Infrastructure for instant access to data, remote instruments, "in silico" experimentation, as well as the setup of Virtual Research Communities and/or Virtual Organisations that is composed by one or more autonomous (maintaining their own policies) Service Providers.
A four-year project, co-funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (contract number: RI-261323), helping to establish a sustainable, reliable e-Infrastructure that can support researchers’ needs for large-scale data analysis.
A non-profit organisation based in Amsterdam established to coordinate and manage the infrastructure (EGI) on behalf of its participants: National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (EIROs).
EGI A federation of shared computing, storage and data resources from national and intergovernmental resource providers that delivers sustainable, integrated and secure distributed computing services to European researchers and their international partners.
EIRO A legal organisation and member of the EIROForum that has extensive expertise in the areas of basic research and the management of large, international infrastructures, facilities and research programmes.
ERA A unified research area open to the world based on the Internal Market, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely and through which the Union and its Member States strengthen their scientific and technological bases, their competitiveness and their capacity to collectively address grand challenges.
IT Infrastructure that is concerned with the integration, virtualisation, and management of Services and Resources in a distributed, heterogeneous environment that supports collections of users and resources (Virtual Organisations) across traditional administrative, trust and organisational boundaries (real organisations). (Source: OGF GFD-I.181)
HPC A computing paradigm that focuses on the efficient execution of compute intensive, tightly-coupled tasks. Given the high parallel communication requirements, the tasks are typically executed on low latency interconnects which makes it possible to share data very rapidly between a large numbers of processors working on the same problem. HPC systems are delivered through low latency clusters and supercomputers and are typically optimised to maximise the number of operations per seconds. The typical metrics are FLOPS, tasks/s, I/O rates.
HTC A computing paradigm that focuses on the efficient execution of a large number of loosely-coupled tasks. Given the minimal parallel communication requirements, the tasks can be executed on clusters or physically distributed resources using grid technologies. HTC systems are typically optimised to maximise the throughput over a long period of time and a typical metric is jobs per month or year.
An expression used to mean 'performed on computer or via computer simulation'. (Source: Wikipedia)
Any event which is not part of the standard operation of a Service and which causes or may cause an interruption to, or a reduction in, the quality of that service. (Source: ISO 20000-1)
A Platform that enables flexible and efficient provisioning of IT resources irrespective of the User’s actual use of those resources. It forms the foundation layer to develop Community and Collaboration Platforms to be built on top of it.
The ability of systems, people and organisations to provide services to and accept services from other systems, people and organisations and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together.
See Capability.
All of the hardware, software, networks, facilities, etc. that are required to develop, test, deliver, monitor, control or support applications and IT Services. The term includes all of the information technology but not the associated people, Processes and documentation. (Source: ITIL 2011)
A service provided by an IT Service Provider like a Resource Centre or a Resource infrastructure Provider. An IT service is made up of a combination of information technology, people and Processes. A user-facing IT service directly supports the business processes of one or more Users and its service level targets should be defined in a Service Level Agreement. Other IT services, called supporting services, are not directly used by the business but are required by the service provider to deliver user-facing services. (Source: ITIL 2011 adapted)
MoU An agreement that clarifies the relationships, responsibilities and communication channels between two or more parties that may share Services, clients, and Resources. The MoU is used when both parties do not want to pursue a Contract that is legally binding (generally). Formal contracts can be intimidating therefore MoUs are the better option for some communities. However, it can also be used to regulate the relationship between parties.
NGI The national federation of shared computing, storage and data resources that delivers sustainable, integrated and secure distributed computing services to the national research communities and their international collaborators. The federation is coordinated by a National Coordinating Body providing a single point of contact at the national level and has official membership in the EGI Council through an NGI legal representative.
An organisation that has the exclusive responsibility for strategic decisions and overall management of a National Grid Infrastructure. The organisation can perform or delegate the role of NGI legal representative.
The legal organisation that has the exclusive mandate delegated through the National Coordinating Body to legally represent an NGI at the national and international level and serves as the NGI representative member in the EGI Council. The NGI Legal Representative may also perform the function of the National Coordinating Body.
An ICT ecosystem is open when it is capable of incorporating and sustaining Interoperability, collaborative development and transparency, while increasing capacities to create flexible, service-oriented ICT applications that can be taken apart and recombined to meet changing needs more efficiently and effectively.
The umbrella term of the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional. It encompasses practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, encouraging scientists to practice open notebook science, and generally making it easier to publish and communicate scientific knowledge. (Source: Wikipedia)
A standard is open if meets the following criteria: All stakeholders have the same possibility of contributing to the development of the specification and public review is part of the decision-making process; The specification is available for everybody to study; Intellectual property rights related to the specification are licensed on FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) or royalty-free terms in a way that allows implementation in both proprietary and open source software.
OLA An agreement between an IT Service Provider and another part of the same organisation. An OLA supports the IT Service Provider’s delivery of IT Services to Users. The OLA defines the goods or Services to be provided and the responsibilities of both parties.
A centre offering operations services on behalf of the Resource Infrastructure Provider.
A structured software unit suitable for automated installation on a computer. A Package may specify dependencies on other packages, so that either a specific version of that package, or a minimum version of that package may satisfy that dependency.
An IT system composed by hardware and/or software components providing a compatibility layer that enables upper-level platforms or user applications to run.
A Service Provider that brings together software components from different Technology Providers or use external services (e.g. from the Collaboration Platform) to meet the needs of a particular consuming research community.
A Service Provider that ensures the services deployed as part of an Infrastructure or community platform are operating effectively on the distributed resources for their consuming community.
Clear, formal and mandatory statement and position of general nature adopted by the IT Infrastructure governance bodies.
PDP The process for the review, approval and revision of policies and procedures that apply to the EGI community.
Unknown underlying cause of one or more Incidents. (Source: ISO 20000-1)
A structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs. It may include any of the roles, responsibilities, tools and management controls required to reliably deliver the outputs. A process may define Policies, Standards, guidelines, activities and work instructions if they are needed. (Source: ITIL 2011)
Step by step written and approved specification of how to complete a specific task or Process.
A marketed entity (here: software component) that may provide a service of its own, or may be re-used as an internal component in another product, or appliance. A Product may consist of one or more deployable packages.
QoS The collective effect of service performance that determine the degree of satisfaction of a User of the Service. Note that the quality of service is characterised by the combined aspects of service support performance, service operability performance, service integrity and other factors specific to each service. (Source: TMF)
A storage location from which software packages may be retrieved and installed on a computer. (Source: Wikipedia)
A physical or virtual entity that is consumed from an e-Infrastructure through IT Services.
RC The smallest resource administration domain in an e-Infrastructure. It can be either localised or geographically distributed. It provides a minimum set of local or remote IT Services compliant to well-defined IT Capabilities necessary to make resources accessible to Users. Access is granted by exposing common interfaces to Users.
An individual who is responsible for installing, operating, maintaining and supporting one or more resources or IT Services in a Resource Centre.
An individual who leads the Resource Centre operations, and is the official technical contact person in the connected organisation. He/she is locally supported by a team of Resource Centre Administrators.
RI A federation of Resource Centres.
RP The legal organisation responsible for any matter that concerns the respective Resource Infrastructure. It provides, manages and operates (directly or indirectly) all the operational services required to an agreed level of quality as required by the Resource Centres and their user community. It holds the responsibility of integrating these operational services into EGI in order to enable uniform resource access and sharing for the benefit of their Users. The Resource infrastructure Provider liaises locally with the Resource Centre Operations Managers, and represents the Resource Centres at an international level. Examples of a Resource infrastructure Provider are the European Intergovernmental Research Organisations(EIRO) and the National Grid Initiatives (NGIs).
A group of scientists or researchers from different universities, institutes or other organisations working together for a common goal.
A community-specific set of tools, applications, and data collections that are integrated together via a web portal or a desktop application, providing access to resources and services from the European Grid Infrastructure.
A means of delivering value to Users by facilitating outcomes they want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. (Source: ITIL 2011, adapted) 
A database or structured document with information about all live IT services, including those available for deployment. The Service Catalogue is part of the Service Portfolio and contains information about two types of IT service: user-facing services that are visible to the business; and supporting services required by the Service Provider to deliver user-facing services. (Source: ITIL 2011)
SLA An agreement between a Service Provider and a customer/client. The SLA describes the IT Service, documents service level targets and specifies the responsibilities of the Service Provider and the customer/client.. A single SLA may cover multiple IT Services or multiple customers/clients.
SLM The process responsible for negotiating achievable Service Level Agreements and ensuring that these are met. It is responsible for ensuring that all IT service management processes, Operational Level Agreements and Underpinning Contracts are appropriate for the agreed service level targets. Service Level Management monitors and reports on service levels, holds regular service reviews with customers/clients, and identifies required improvements. (Source: ITIL 2011)
SLT A commitment that is documented in a Service Level Agreement. Service Level Targets are based on service level requirements, and are needed to ensure that the IT Service is able to meet business or organisation objectives. They should be smart and are usually based on key performance indicators. (Source: ITIL 2011)
The complete set of Services that is managed by a Service Provider. The Service Portfolio is used to manage the entire lifecycle of all services, and includes three categories: service pipeline (proposed or in development), service catalogue (live or available for deployment), and retired services. (Source: ITIL 2011)
An organisation supplying Services to one or more internal or external Users. Service provider is often used as an abbreviation for IT Service Provider. (Source: ITIL 2011 adapted)
See Resource Centre.
A document, established by consensus and approved by a Standards Organisation, which provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context. Compliance is not compulsory.
SDO A chartered organisation tasked with producing Standards and specifications, according to specific and strictly defined requirements, procedures and rules. Standards developing organisations include recognised standardisation bodies such as : 1) international standardisation committees such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the three European Standard Organisations: the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) or the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), national standardisation organisations such as ANSI; 2) fora and consortia initiatives for standardisation such as the Open Grid Forum (OGF) or the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).
TP Delivers the software, services and/or support required by any client or customer. Technology Providers can be community-specific as organisations or projects that develop or deliver software for specific user communities or customisation for specific requirements. They can also be generic as open-source software collaborations or commercial software providers that deliver technology spanning multiple user communities or domains for general infrastructure purposes.
An IT Capability defined in the UMD Roadmap.
UC A contract between an IT service provider and a third party. The third party provides goods or services that support delivery of an IT Service to a customer/client. The Underpinning Contract defines targets and responsibilities that are required to meet agreed service level targets in one or more Service Level Agreements. (Source: ITIL 2011)
UMD The integrated set of software components contributed by Technology Providers and packaged for deployment as production-quality services in EGI.
A person who uses the IT Service on day-to-day basis. Users are distinct from customers, as some customers do not use the IT service directly. (Source: ITIL 2011)
A promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the customer/client of value that will be experienced. A value proposition can apply to an entire organisation, or parts thereof, or client accounts, or Products or Services.
VO A group of people (e.g. scientists, researchers) with common interests and requirements, who need to work collaboratively and/or share resources (e.g. data, software, expertise, CPU, storage space) regardless of geographical location. They join a VO in order to access resources to meet these needs, after agreeing to a set of rules and Policies that govern their access and security rights (to users, resources and data).
An individual responsible for the membership registry of a VO including its accuracy and integrity.
VRC A group of large-scale research collaborations, or a number of separate VOs grouped according to research domain or computational technique. The group shares information and experience in achieving their goals through the usage of an e-Infrastructure (e.g., best practices, applications, training material).
A series of computational or data manipulation steps using resources of EGI.
A software system that enables scientific communities to compose and execute a series of computational or data manipulation steps, or a workflow, in a scientific application on resources of EGI.

Concept Map

This concept maps presents the various glossary terms and highlights some of their relationships. Not all relationships are presented for readability issues. It is meant to provide a visual representation of the main relationships among the terms.