EGI Federated Cloud enabled through the use of open standards

The EGI Federated Cloud is a production service that offers a seamless grid of academic private clouds and virtualised resources built around open standards and focusing on the requirements of the scientific community. The result is a new type of research e-infrastructure based on the mature federated operations services that make EGI a reliable resource for science. When using EGI Federated Cloud resources, researchers and research communities can count on:
  • Total control over deployed applications
  • Elastic resource consumption based on real needs
  • Immediately processed workloads – no more waiting time
  • An extended e-Infrastructure across resource providers in Europe
  • Service performance scaled with elastic resource consumption
  • Single sign-on at multiple, independent providers

The EGI Federated Cloud is designed to satisfy scenarios defined by various scientific communities. The initial set of scenarios that the community collected has been distilled down to capabilities that the EGI Federated Cloud must provide to enable these community use cases. The capabilities were compared to state-of-the-art cloud computing technologies, standards, protocols and APIs to identify a technology stack which can help the National Grid Initiatives and research communities to connect resources into a federated infrastructure. The Federated Cloud currently integrates the following main standard-based technological components:

Name of the technology Description What it’s used for in EGI?
OCCI: Open Cloud Computing Interface The Open Cloud Computing Interface comprises a set of open community-lead specifications delivered through the Open Grid Forum. OCCI is a Protocol and API for all kinds of management tasks. OCCI was originally initiated to create a remote management API for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model based Services, allowing for the development of interoperable tools for common tasks including deployment, autonomic scaling and monitoring. It has since evolved into a flexible API with a strong focus on integration, portability, interoperability and innovation while still offering a high degree of extensibility. Virtual Machine management & Block Storage Management
GLUE Schema The GLUE Schema is a common way of publishing information about sites and services of grid or cloud resources. GLUE is a open specification developed by the Open Grid Forum with implementations for a range of systems; the EGI Federated Cloud uses the LDAP based BDII implementation. Information system for cloud resources
X509 User authentication is a means of identifying the user and verifying that the user is allowed to access some restricted service, particularly the sites of the EGI Federated Cloud. Public-key cryptography is a cryptographic technique that enables users to securely communicate on an insecure public network, and reliably verify the identity of a user via digital signatures. The X.509 specification defines a standard for managing digital signatures on the Internet. X.509 specifies, amongst other things, standard formats for public key certificates, certificate revocation lists, attribute certificates, and a certification path validation algorithm. User authentication
CDMI The Cloud Data Management Interface defines the functional interface that applications use to create, retrieve, update and delete data elements from Object-base storage in the cloud. CDMI is a flexible protocol that allows clients to discover the capabilities of the cloud storage offering and to manage containers and the data that is placed in them. Object Storage

Users of the EGI Federated Cloud are scientists working in many fields, who can benefit of a flexible environment for running their workloads. Also, the EGI cloud is suitable to projects aiming to provide services and platforms to the scientific community.

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