Training infrastructure

From EGIWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Engagement overview Community requirements Community events Training EGI Webinars Documentations


Introduction to the EGI training infrastructure

During 2015, under the coordination of the EGI-Engage project, the EGI community established a cloud based e-infrastructure specifically for training. The training infrastructure exists as a resource pool - a so called Virtual Organisation (VO) - within the [Federated_Cloud_user_support|EGI Federated Cloud infrastructure]. The training infrastructure provides ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ clouds (IaaS), i.e. physical resources (CPU, storage), as well as access services (login, application catalogue and application management portal) for face-to-face events, online training courses or self-paced learning modules. The training infrastructure is integrated with the EGI authentication-authorisation service (CheckIn) that allows trainers to generate short-living user accounts for training participants. Such accounts can identify students individually, and for a limited lifetime - typically few hours or days, depending on the length of the training event - allow them to interact with the training infrastructure sites and services.

The infrastructure currently includes enough capacity to scale up to class-room size audiences, approximately up to 100 participants.

Introductory slides and poster of the Training Infrastructure: (These were prepared for a Demo at the EGI Community Forum event in Bari, 2015 November. Outdated in some parts.)

Usage models

The training infrastructure is suitable for two types of courses:

  1. Cloud computing courses: Such courses teach students about IaaS clouds and the way Virtual Machine images, storage blocks and other types of ‘low level’ resources are managed. For such courses In this operational mode the infrastructure the trainer does not have to deploy applications or online services on the infrastructure in advance of the course. The applications/services will be deployed by the students themselves as training exercises. Such courses typically target programmers or other rather technical members of scientific communities or projects.
  2. Scientific courses: Such courses teach scientists or programmers about a specific software that’s relevant for their work. For example a specific gene sequence analysis software suite, an earthquake visualisation tool, a data processing pipeline. In this operational mode the the trainer deploys the domain specific application/tool on the training infrastructure before the training and the students interact directly with those applications/tools without even knowing where those are deployed and running. Depending on how computationally or data heavy the student exercises are, multiple students can share a single software deployment, or each student can have his/her own dedicated deployment. The configuration can be controlled by the teacher when the setup is deployed. have dedicated training environments, and the community can benefit from the easy deployment, predictability and repeatability of courses.

In both operational case the deployment of applications/tools/services can happen in the form of ‘Virtual Machine images’ (VMIs), and block storages - the latter basically behaving like a virtual USB drive that can be attached/detached to VMIs to provide data and storage space for applications.

VMIs can be deployed on the infrastructure through the EGI Applications Marketplace (, a growing catalogue that includes both basic applications (e.g. latest version of clean Linux deployments) and more specialised applications (e.g. Jupyter Notebook). A specific section within the catalogue is reserved for training-related application VMIs (

The Applications Marketplace also includes a VMI management dashboard (, offering a Web interface for both trainers and students to deploy and manage VMIs from the Marketplace on the training infrastructure.

Available resources

The infrastructure currently federates the following resources:

Sites through the Virtual Organisation (VO):

Available clouds:

Clouds under maintenance:

Clouds under finalization:

Cloud not anymore available:


Do you want to join as a resource provider? Please email

Modules and examples

The training infrastructure was used in July 2015 for two face-to-face training courses that trained programmers about the use of the EGI Federated Cloud (so the first operational model above). The focus of these courses were on the use of the rOCCI client interface to interact with the EGI cloud (instantiate, delete, access VMs). During these courses the training infrastructure included three cloud sites (CESNET, BIFI, UKIM) and hosted approx 25 student per event. Before the event the trainers prepared a basic VM that included the rOCCI client (with the training VO pre-configured in it), one user account for each student with a short-term certificate copied under each (with 24h lifetime). One instance of the VM was started on the infrastructure by the trainers before the event and the student were provided with login details for the user accounts. After logging in the students could use the OCCI commands of the rOCCI client with their own short-term certificates and could manage virtual machines on the 3 cloud sites of the training infrastructure. The presentations and hands-on materials from the teo events are available here:

Booking the infrastructure

The infrastructure currently includes enough capacity to scale up to class-room size audiences, approximately up to 100 participants. Do you want to book the infrastructure for a course? Please send a request through

Personal tools