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Updated 22/01/2021

EGI-ACE: Advanced Computing for EOSC

Hien Bui gives an overview of the EGI-ACE project

EGI-ACE is a large-scale, multi-organisation distributed facility that “strengthens Europe’s capabilities and infrastructures for hosting, processing and using data, interoperability” (European Strategy for Data, COM (2020) 66 final, 19-02-2020, Pillar B). This 30-months-project contributes to the vision by enabling all researchers from all disciplines to be empowered to collaborate and to carry out data- and compute-intensive science and innovation across national borders through free at point of use service offerings.

Building on the distributed computing integration in EOSC-hub, it delivers the EOSC Compute Platform and contributes to the EOSC Data Commons through a federation of cloud compute and storage facilities, PaaS services and data spaces with analytics tools and federated access services.

The platform is built on the EGI Federation, the largest distributed computing infrastructure for research. The EGI Federation delivers over 1 exabyte of research data and 1 million CPU cores which supported the discovery of the Higgs Boson and the first observation of gravitational waves, while remaining open to new members. The platform pools the capacity of some of Europe’s largest research data centres, leveraging ISO compliant federated service management.

Over the project lifetime, it will provide more than 82 M CPU hours and 250 K GPU hours for data processing and analytics, and 45 PB/month to host and exploit research data. Its services address the needs of major research infrastructures and communities of practice engaged through the EOSC-hub project. The EOSC Compute Platform advances beyond the state of the art through a data-centric approach, where data, tools and compute and storage facilities form a fully integrated environment accessible across borders thanks to Virtual Access. It offers heterogeneous systems to meet different needs, including state of the art GPGPUs and accelerators supporting AI and ML, making the platform an ideal innovation space for AI applications. The data spaces and analytics tools are delivered in collaboration with tens of research infrastructures and projects, to support use cases for health, the Green Deal, and fundamental sciences.

EGI-ACE will respond to the general objectives of the EOSC Partnership and the European Strategy for Data by:

  • Deliver a free-at-point-of-use distributed compute facility that pools national and international capacities and removes today’s barriers that prevent transnational and cross-disciplinary access to high-end compute facilities. Access to these high-end services is made available to all European researchers.
  • Offer a sustainable hyperscale facility with the capabilities and capacities to host large research datasets and data analytics to address the complex digital needs of research. This makes it possible to scale up the research ambition dramatically using the existing in-house infrastructures of research and academic institutes.
  • Develop the EOSC Compute Platform as an open infrastructure that can expand thanks to the adoption of common technical specifications and management processes. Examples include EOSC projects and initiatives, commercial cloud providers, additional national and European HPC resources, incl. EuroHPC.
  • Provide a heterogeneous computing infrastructure with different cost and performance systems, which can ensure that communities get the resources they need with the best return on investment for European funding supporting them. Communities will thus be able to adopt infrastructures offering the needed level of performance and cost for their calculation types.

The project consortium builds on the expertise and assets of the EGI Federation members, key research communities and data providers, and collaborating initiatives.

EGI-ACE started on 01 January 2021.

The available services of EGI-ACE are accessible through the EOSC Marketplace.

View the latest news about EGI-ACE project