The European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) enables access to computing resources for European scientists and researchers from all fields of science, from High Energy Physics to Humanities.
For examples see the case sudy collection.
The European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) is a federation of resource providers set up to deliver sustainable, integrated and secure computing services to European researchers and their international partners.
EGI.eu is an organisation established on 8 February 2010 to coordinate and manage the infrastructure (EGI) on behalf of its participants: National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (EIROs).
EGI.eu is a foundation recognised by Dutch law and headquartered in Science Park Amsterdam, the Netherlands. top
EGI-InSPIRE (EGI-Integrated Sustainable Pan-European Infrastructure for Research in Europe) is a four-year project helping to establish a sustainable, reliable e-Infrastructure that can support researchers’ needs for large-scale data analysis. EGI-InSPIRE is a collaborative effort involving 50 partners in over 40 countries.
The project is co-funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (contract number: RI-261323) to help lay down the EGI operational and support processes, as well as to build a sustainable e-Infrastructure, independent from project cycles.
By the time EGI-InSPIRE finishes in 2014, EGI will be a sustainable and dependable provider of computing resources for European scientists and researchers. top
National Grid Initiatives or Infrastructures (NGIs) are organisations set up by individual countries to manage the computing resources they provide to the European e-Infrastructure (EGI). NGIs are EGI’s main stakeholders, together with CERN and EMBL (two European Intergovernmental Research Organisations or EIROs).
Each NGI contributes a number of sites to the grid infrastructure. NGIs are responsible for the maintenance and running of the sites they operate.
NGIs are represented in the EGI.eu Council. top
A reliable grid infrastructure available to all is part of the Europe 2020 vision, the European Commission’s growth strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.
In particular, the infrastructure is a building block of the Digital Agenda and will contribute to improve standard-setting procedures and interoperability, as well as to Europe’s competitiveness through increased coordination and elimination of fragmented efforts and the digital divide in e-Infrastructures across Europe.
EGI contributes to the European Union’s fifth freedom – the free movement of knowledge – by providing the means for scientists and researchers across Europe to share knowledge and data for the benefit of society. top
Grid computing is a way to securely share computing power and data storage capacity over the Internet and through dedicated high-speed networks. The grid allows institutions and organisations to share resources for the benefit of all users authorised to access them.
The grid is an open source technology developed specifically for academic research. It is funded by research institutions and free at point of use. Clouds are commercial services owned and provided by individual businesses. Users pay to use the service as and when they need to.
Grid computing is making big contributions to scientific research, helping scientists around the world to analyse and store massive amounts of data. For example, the data coming out of the Large Hadron Collider (at CERN) is being stored and analysed using grid computing resources. It would not be possible otherwise. The LHC produces 3,000,000 DVD’s worth of data per year – no single computer, no matter how powerful, could ever cope with that.
The grid is useful for all fields of science, from physics to humanities. International Science Grid This Week (iSGTW) is a weekly online newsletter that reports the latest achievements in grid computing and their applications to research.
GridCafé offers an introduction to grid computing for the general public.
International Science Grid This Week (iSGTW) reports the latest achievements in grid computing and their applications to research.
The GridCast blog goes behind the scenes of some of the most exciting grid computing and e-Infrastructure events in the world.
The GridBriefings are jargon-free summaries of key reports and issues on European e-infrastructure written for politicians and decision makers.
The federated resources provided by EGI are available to all scientists and researchers who are members of a Virtual Organisation (VO). Each VO has its own rules as to who can join their community and membership may be open to non-European collaborators. top
The resources coordinated by EGI are free at point of use: individual users do not have to pay to use the grid infrastructure. Participating countries and institutions contribute to the common costs of running the infrastructure. The individual resource providers (NGIs) fund and maintain the hardware in their own countries. top
You need to join a Virtual Organisation (VO) to access the available resources. A VO is a group of researchers who work collaboratively with other members and/or share resources (e.g. data, software, expertise, CPU, storage space) regardless of geographical location.
More information about VOs and becoming a user is available on the user support pages. top
If there is a will, there is a way! Joining a VO does not require computing or programming expertise and once you’re over that hurdle, you will have access to training sessions, how to guides and experts that can walk you through the process.
EGI also maintains an Application Database, a collection of software applications that have been adapted to run on the grid and are ready for scientists to use. The database covers all scientific fields, from applications to simulate exotic excitation modes in physics, to complex protein sequences analysis. top