Developing a Cloud Interoperability profile for EGI
The last two weeks in March have provided a glimpse into how a European Infrastructure built from federated virtualised resources could emerge.
CloudScape III in Brussels provided the first public discussion of SIENA’s “European Roadmap on Grid and Clouds standards for e-Science and Beyond” that had been developed in collaboration with experts in the funded European DCI projects and with experts on cloud and related standards from around the world. Presentations from the Open Grid Forum (OGF), Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provided an overview of some of the emerging standards (e.g. OCCI, OVF and CDMI) in this area. Other presentations during the event provided an update on the implementation and adoption of some of these specifications in European software projects.
During the final panel session at CloudScape the concept of a ‘Cloud Interoperability Profile’ emerged. While standards are critical for open interoperability, many standards provide optional elements or can in early versions be ambiguous as to how interoperability will be achieved. A profile brings one or more standards together and identifies how exactly they will be used in reality.
Such a profile would be critical for EGI with its production infrastructure composed of federated resource providers. Past experience has shown that achieving interoperability by expecting all sites to deploy the same version of the same software at the same time is very impractical and against human nature! Having clear interfaces and evolving these interfaces as new functionality is needed allows each site to deploy software at their own speed, but to still be able to integrate their resources alongside others.
These discussions continued last week in Taipei with the International Symposium on Grids & Clouds 2011 and the Open Grid Forum 31. Several sessions provided the opportunity to start discussions as to the standards that would make up such a Cloud Interoperability Profile. There was strong interest in taking forward these discussions within an OGF Working Group in the months to come.
EGI’s thoughts on the critical operations that need to be defined through standards as part of a distributed federated virtualised infrastructure are beginning to emerge. More discussion will take place at the EGI User Forum in Vilnius April 11th-14th and more detailed technical discussions at the User Virtualisation Workshop in 12th & 13th May 2011.
What are the critical elements of cloud functionality that you would like to see available from EGI?