VECPAR'04 - Sixth International Meeting on High Performance Computing for Computational Science |

The EGEE European Grid Infrastructure Project

Fabrizio Gagliardi
    EGEE Director, CERN senior scientist


The state of computer and networking technology today makes the seamless sharing of computing resources on an international or even global scale conceivable. For scientific applications, the vision is that such computing Grids will integrate large, geographically distributed computer clusters and data storage facilities, and provide simple, reliable and round-the-clock access to these resources. The benefits that will flow include large increases in both the peak capacity and the total computing power delivered to various scientific projects, as well as new ways for scientific communities to share and analyse very large data sets. These benefits will translate into an increase of both the quality and quantity of scientific output in a broad spectrum of compute-intensive fields ranging from bioinformatics and climate simulation to the nanoscale design of new materials and integration of large engineering projects involving many partners.

Based on pioneering work in the US and in Europe, software toolkits for distributed computing - such as Globus, Condor, and Unicore - are available. As a result, a number of projects have demonstrated first early results for various aspects of computer Grids. Europe has achieved a prominent position in this field, in particular for its success in establishing a functional Grid testbed comprising more than 20 centres in Europe, in the context of the European DataGrid (EDG) project. Individual countries, such as the UK, France, and Italy, have developed comprehensive "e-Science" programs that rely on emerging national computing Grids to deliver unprecedented computing resources to science. However, as yet, there are no real production-quality Grids that can offer continuous, reliable Grid services to a range of scientific communities.

The EGEE project proposal

A consortium of 70 partners has proposed to the EU a project to develop and deploy a large Grid production infrastructure (

EGEE aims to integrate current national, regional and thematic Grid efforts, in order to create a seamless European Grid infrastructure for the support of the European Research Area. This infrastructure will be built on the EU Research Network GEANT and exploit Grid expertise that has been generated by projects such as the EU DataGrid project, other EU supported Grid projects and the national Grid initiatives such as UK e-Science, INFN Grid, Nordugrid and the US Trillium (cluster of projects).

The EGEE vision is that this Grid infrastructure will provide European researchers in academia and industry with a common market of computing resources, enabling round-the-clock access to major computing resources, independent of geographic location. The infrastructure will support distributed research communities, including relevant Networks of Excellence, which share common Grid computing needs and are prepared to integrate their own distributed computing infrastructures and agree common access policies. The resulting infrastructure will surpass the capabilities of localised clusters and individual supercomputing centres in many respects, providing a unique tool for collaborative compute-intensive science ("e-Science") in the European Research Area. Finally, the infrastructure will provide interoperability with other Grids around the globe, including the US NSF Cyberinfrastructure, contributing to efforts to establish a worldwide Grid infrastructure.

The talk will review the status of the project which is planned to start in April 2004 and the plans for the future.

Polytechnic University of Valencia Logo Valencia | Spain | 2004 | June | 28 29 30