In March 2018, Matthew Viljoen took over as EGI Operations Manager, leading the Operations team. In this article he introduces himself and outlines the team’s strategic priorities for 2018.
As someone with a background in Service Delivery and Operations, I was delighted to be offered the position of Operations Manager within the EGI Foundation, and look forward to the challenges ahead as EGI continues to build on its strength into the future.
Prior to working with EGI, I had been working at the UK Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) for twelve years. Here I was initially managing and supporting services for the UK National Grid Service and for the EGEE project. I then operated the petabyte scale data storage service for the UK WLCG Tier 1, a principal site for making CERN data available to UK high energy physicists. At RAL I also developed and moved into production a comprehensive new data storage and access service for the Diamond Light Source UK national synchrotron which now serves multiple petabytes of storage.
In 2015 I started working at EGI and led the Platform Development work package in the EGI-Engage project, which identified and developed missing functionality in the HTC and cloud computing as well as federated data EGI services.
As EGI Operations Manager I will be leading the coordination and evolution of the federated operations team to ensure that it develops an ever stronger and consistent high quality global service offering, meeting the needs of researchers regardless of their discipline. This will require forging strong links with national e-Infrastructures and thematic research infrastructures, and streamlining all aspects of operation.
Leading the Operations Team, I will endeavour to continue to improve the quality of service delivery. This follows on from the work done in 2017 within EGI Foundation to obtain ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 20000-1 certification of EGI Service Management processes. This will ensure that we deliver the best possible services, working alongside the significant contribution and hard work from service and resource providers within the EGI Federation. EGI Foundation has always taken data privacy very seriously and information security remains a high priority for the Operations Team. We are working to ensure that service delivery will continue in the light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018, by making sure all requirements of the regulation are met and reflected in service delivery agreements. In preparation for this, all the EGI Operations Team members have obtained ISO/IEC 27001 certification in Information Security Management. More generally, during 2018 we will be working to improve the security, general quality and usability of the EGI Federated Cloud service.
2018 also brings us into an exciting new phase of EGI as it is leading the development of EOSC-hub, the first steps of the European Open Science Cloud. This aims at harmonizing major European e-infrastructures such as EGI and EUDAT to one consistent service offering for all European users of publicly funded e-Infrastructures for research and academia. The project is also integrating services developed in the INDIGO-DataCloud project and services operated by members of the eighteen Research Infrastructures which are part of the project. Within EOSC-hub, I am leading the work of coordinated operations and federated service management, creating an IT service management framework covering all aspects of service delivery within the EOSC-hub. The EOSC-hub project itself is coordinated by EGI Foundation and we will draw from our extensive experience in running the largest academic e-Infrastructure to make this project a success.
Achieving these goals will be challenging but the EGI Foundation Operations team includes people with extensive technical and skills, working in many domains.
Finally I would like to welcome the Operation’s team latest recruit, Bruce Becker, who joined the team after a long history of close collaboration with EGI and has previously worked at CSIR Meraka in South Africa.