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EGI Virtualisation Activities

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EGI User Virtualisation Workshop

This workshop brought together more than 70 Participants from three critical groups (resource providers, end-users and technology providers) within the European production infrastructure to ask the following series of questions:

  • Should EGI move towards providing an 'Infrastructure as a Service' model (a.k.a. cloud computing) tuned to support data intensive research communities?
  • Should this service be provided by federations of resource providers from the research community, commercially by ad hoc agreements between users and resource providers, or by collective negotiation and purchase of resources on behalf of different communities?
  • What sort of use (consuming communities and use cases) would the research community make of such a capability?
  • What are the major issues (e.g. technical, policy, governance, etc.) that need to be resolved for this use to happen?

Over a 2-3 day workshop through a series of presentations and breakouts we tried to answer these questions in order to end the meeting with a set of critical observations that could be developed into a roadmap that will meet the growing need for virtualised resources from the European research communities.

Time and place

The workshop was held 12-13 May 2011 in Amsterdam.

Background Material

The meeting schedule deliberately did not spend a lot of time on technology related presentations or provide an introduction for cloud computing. There are plenty of meetings that can provide that information. A selection of recent events are provided below:

Agenda and Post-event Information

Defining a Roadmap for a Federated Virtualised Infrastructure

EGI Cloud Profile / Architecture

The purpose of this document is to define a technical roadmap for the interoperable integration of virtualised resources from different resource providers to provide an integrated federated virtualised resources infrastructure for exploitation by EGI’s user community. To achieve interoperability between the individual deployments, while allowing individual sites the flexibility to deploy the software that they wish, some interfaces will need to be constrained to clearly defined specifications. This document defines a minimal set of usage scenarios that when supported will provide key functionality for the end-users wishing to utilise ‘cloud’ interfaces provided as part of EGI. From these scenarios a number of functional areas are defined and from these functional areas a set of standards and specifications are identified that will define interaction across this functional areas. These scenarios and specifications are identified to promote discussion amongst the end-user community (as a starting point for their use) and for resource-providers (to verify the deployability of these interfaces).

Virtualisation Technologies to be Investigated and Contact

The following table provides an outline of the people and/or organisations who have agreed to investigate the capabilities and functionalities of specific virtualisation technologies and will serve as a tracking and reference mechanisms of their findings.



Principle Investigator


Azure Ake Edlund, KTH
Eucalyptus (Ubuntu EC) David Wallom, OeRC
OpenNebula CESGA and OpenNebula team
OpenStack CSC
Platform ISF CERN
StratusLab Cal Loomis / David O'Callaghan
VMware David Wallom, OeRC

Partners to Provide Resources for Virtualisation Testbed

An informal agreement was established to move forward with implementation of virtualisation, but first on a “testbed” environment. A number of resource providers informally committed a part of their infrastructure for virtualisation efforts. Formal communication channels are being established in order to take this forward. The following table provides a list of NGIs represented at the User Virtualisation Workshop, a few comments made by them, and will serve as a tracking and reference table for those who are formally involved and how.

NGI Commitment Contact Number of Provided Resources Comments
Czech Republic Yes Ludĕk Matyska, CESNET Will collaborate towards virtualisation. They have national program for virtualisation and there should not be too much deviation from that.
Netherlands Yes BigGrid will offer a part of the infrastructure for virtualisation efforts, but not with unlimited manpower to the project
UK Yes David Wallom, OeRC

Federated Clouds Task Force

In order to take a proactive stance and ensuring that how virtualisation efforts will be coordinated and implemented, a dedicated Task Force has been set up. Visit the dedicated FCTF wiki page for:

  • Mandate
  • Expected Outputs
  • Members
  • Conference calls

Mailing Lists

If you are interested in contributing to the virtualisation discussion or would like to keep updated on ongoing activities, feel free to use or join
If you are looking to become an active member of EGI's virtualisation efforts then contact