The Unified Middleware Distribution (UMD) roadmap provides EGI’s vision of the long-term development of the software deployed on the production infrastructure. The roadmap describes the features that are necessary to operate a distributed and federated computing infrastructure. The roadmap covers the following four main aspects:
A defined set of technologies to help EGI resource providers align their technical infrastructure to deliver focused services with less effort.
The baseline of EGI's production software infrastructure defined by a set of software components. These are drawn from publicly available open source or commercial providers, as well as from within EGI by means of Unified Middleware Distribution (UMD) releases.
The platform interfaces published through the roadmap that allow EGI user communities to develop value added services that are specific to their own community (e.g. Particle Physics, High Energy Physics or Meteorology communities).
The definition of software component life cycle management as applicable for EGI software components.
The foundation of a higher-level distributed computing infrastructure (DCI) is built using general-purpose software (e.g. commodity Linux distributions, databases, or software security infrastructure). Well-defined components, driven by use cases, are installed on top of this fabric of general-purpose software. These use cases are shared across the different user communities that EGI engages with. The software that falls into this category is typically called the Unified Middleware Distribution (UMD) and includes components that allow job submission or file transfers, for instance. Each user community also has a set of very domain specific requirements for their software. Those requirements cannot be satisfied by general-purpose software or generic middleware for many communities. Specific software that satisfies those needs is often developed and maintained within the user communities, or, where applicable, general-purpose software is extended or integrated in a domain-specific way to solve the pertinent user community’s problems.
The UMD is the set of software components that the EGI community needs to bridge the gap between the functionality it needs to deliver as a generic base to its user community and the ‘out of the box’ solutions available from mainstream commercial or open-source providers.
The UMD roadmap describes the capabilities of the software within the UMD and how the functionality within each capability will evolve over time in response to the requirements coming in from the community. Integral parts of the definition of each capability are applicable standards that define the access interface, the computer language used to describe data, or both. It is through software components strictly adhering to standards that enable the free choice of implementation, thus fostering a market and competition among providers.