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Users of the European Grid Infrastructure are organised into Virtual Organisations (VO). A VO is a group of people who share similar interests, have similar goals, and need to work collaboratively sharing resources (e.g. data, software, expertise, CPU, storage space) regardless of their geographical location. There are already more than 200 VOs hosted on EGI. Users are invited to join these VOs, or establish new ones for their own communities.
The VO services activities are summarized in four main points:
- Evaluation of VO and VRC support services and tools: To identify and evaluate tools / services which could be considered valuable by VOs
- Provision of services and tools for VOs and VRCS: To provide or help setting up tools / services for VOs aiming to foster production quality by VO users and VO infrastructure providers
- Consultancy for VO managers: To provide consultancy services to VO managers, clarifying procedures and gathering documentation aiming to optimize the VO managers daily work.
- Helpdesk for VO managers: To provide a first line support to VO managers.
Evaluation of support tools for VOs and VRCs
Members of VRCs and VOs should be able to assess how reliable their production infrastructure is. In order to achieve this VRCs and VO members must make use of tools that run VO specific tests on their infrastructure on a regular basis, and at same time make the results visible to all VO and/or VRC members. Such tools typically consist of multiple modules:
- An infrastructure testing framework: A component that can host VO/VRC specific tests and run these tests on a regular basis on the infrastructure
- A monitor system: A system that collects test results and makes them visible for VO/VRC members
- An alarm system: A component that can raise alarms whenever a site/service/resource fails a VO-specific test.
The VO Service team has investigated tools and services available within the EGI community that could be adapted to multi-VO environments. The investigated tools cover areas from job management to resource monitoring. The final goal is to easy the access to those applications aiming to foster production quality by the users of a VO.
All communities (VRCs, VOs, NGIs, ...) are invited to recommend new tools for evaluation or share their own evaluation / experience with the VO Services team. The obvious advantage is that those surveys become available to the whole EGI community. Please contact the VO Service team via its GGUS support unit, or directly via email@example.com.
Provision of services and tools for VOs and VRCs
There are two different kinds of tools which can be considered useful for VOs:
- global tools supported under the EGI project (operations portal, accounting portal, gocdb, ...)
- specific tools developed and supported by communities (VO, VRCs or NGIs).
Tools developed and supported by communities
The VO Services team already evaluated a high number of services and tools. Making use of that information the VO Services compiled a list of services and tools useful to VO and/or VRC's members. which can be consulted at: Services and Tools portfolio wiki page
Before taking the decision of installing them under a production environment VOs should take into account the effort needed for the operation and maintenance of those tools. Three different scenarios are foreseen:
- The VO installs and operate those tools using their own resources
- The VO uses a service instance installed elsewhere during a temporary period while it gains expertise to deploy and operate the service.
- The VO makes permanent use of the tools operated elsewhere and offered as a service to the VO or VO users
Consultancy for VO Managers
The GGUS VO Services Support Unit is the official communication channel between VO managers and VO Services staff. One of its main objectives is to provide a direct link to VO managers so that they can ask for consultancy services on VO management issues, like:
- ask for help on operations through different scenarios
- provide feedback regarding specific tools and services
- discuss and assess requests and enhancements
While interacting with the VO managers, VO Services staff can involve different experts in the discussions, and bridge VO managers requests with the appropriate support units. Through the interactions with the VO managers, different requirements can also emerge. In this case, it is the VO Services Support Unit responsibility to summarize the discussion into a requirement, and insert it in EGI Request Tracker. USCT is then responsible for the requirement follow up.
Also, through this subtask, the VO Service staff is responsible for evaluating and gathering documentation found relevant for VO managers daily activities. All communities (VRCs, VOs, NGIs, ...) are invited to recommend topics about which new materials should be prepared (manuals, presentations, etc...) or even to share their own materials about VO management related topics. Please contact the VO Service team via its GGUS support unit, or directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Relevant documentation for VO activities wiki page presents a snapshot of the current aggregated material.
Helpdesk for VO managers
A first line service to support VO managers is consolidated through the GGUS VO Services Support Unit. Through this service, the VO managers can:
- ask for support while operating their VO
- ask for clarification of procedures
- ask for documentation improvements
The VO Service team seats behind the GGUS VO Services Support Unit and is responsible for evaluating VO managers requests and treat them in a timely manner. Because this support unit is fully integrated in GGUS user support workflows, it is possible to reassign requests to other support units and/or involved other experts in the evaluation of a given request. For the previous reasons, the GGUS VO Services Support Unit represents the primordial point of contact for VO managers support. Nevertheless, the VO Services mailing list is also available through email@example.com
- GGUS: VO Services Support Unit
- Mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org