IBM highlights of the EGI Conference and the INDIGO summit

This blog article was written by Sahdev P. Zala, IBM Advisory Software Engineer, and re-posted here with permission. Read the original article.


The EGI Conference 2017 and INDIGO Summit 2017 took place in Catania, Italy, from 9 to 12 of May.

Sahdev P. Zala, Advisory Software Engineer at IBM, was among the keynote speakers, and it was the first time he attended an EGI event. The co-authors, Dr. Miguel Caballer and Dr. Alvaro Lopez Garcia, are INDIGO-DataCloud lead architects and are attending EGI and INDIGO events on a regular basis.

The event was powered with keynote speeches from renowned speakers, several technical sessions and poster sessions. It was attended by a few hundred computer scientists and developers from all over the Europe, United States, Canada, Taiwan and South Africa. Most attendees have PhD or MSc degree in Computer Science.

IBM Takeaway

We found the event very successful with over 5 keynote sessions, 32 technical sessions, 29 posters and panel discussions. The keynote speakers included Dr. Tiziana Ferrari (Technical Director, EGI Foundation), Dr. Davide Salomoni (Coordinator, INDIGO-DataCloud), Prof. Jesús Marco de Lucas (Work Package Leader, INDIGO-DataCloud), Edit Herczog (Ex-Member of European Parliament), Dr. Jan Korbel (Senior Scientist, EMBL Heidelberg) and Sahdev Pratapsinh Zala (IBM).

It was simply amazing to see how technology, and especially cloud computing, is influencing science. Several sessions and demonstrations were presented towards it. One of the most impressive sessions was by senior scientist Dr. Jan Korbel titled “Cancer Genomes on the Cloud: The Pan-Cancer Initiative” demonstrating how cloud computing is advancing research on cancer. Dr. Korbel also discussed the future of cancer research and how science cloud will play an important role.

In his keynote speech, Sahdev P. Zala of IBM presented IBM’s leadership and commitment in open source software development. He demonstrated the collaborative efforts that the project INDIGO-DataCloud and IBM team worked together to enhance OpenStack TOSCA projects like OpenStack Heat Translator and OpenStack TOSCA Parser. He also demonstrated how INDIGO-DataCloud uses those projects in production. Part of his briefing on collaborative efforts were a recap of INDIGO team and IBM’s joint sessions at the OpenStack summits in Austin and Barcelona 2017, and a joint submission of research paper in a prestigious Journal of Grid Computing. At the end, he provided an overview of IBM Bluemix Platform.

Dr. Miguel Caballer is an architect of the Infrastructure Manager (IM). The IM is a tool that deploys complex and customised virtual infrastructures on multiple back-ends. It enables the automation of the Virtual Machine Image (VMI) selection, deployment, configuration, software installation, monitoring and update of virtual infrastructures. It supports a wide variety of back-ends, thus making user applications cloud agnostic. In addition, it features DevOps capabilities, based on Ansible to enable the installation and configuration of all the user required applications providing the user with a fully functional infrastructure. The IM is used by INDIGO-DataCloud at two levels: in the PaaS core to access cloud providers external to the INDIGO-DataCloud project and as the TOSCA orchestration layer of the OpenNebula sites of the INDIGO-DataCloud infrastructure.

Dr. Alvaro Lopez from CSIC is coordinating the development efforts in the compute virtualization area of the INDIGO-DataCloud project, as well as the task responsible for the integration modules needed for the EGI Federated Cloud. Those activities were showcased in a joint session moderated by Alvaro, focused at mature user communities that are able to exploit IaaS resources directly.

Dr. Davide Salomoni (coordinator of the INDIGO-DataCloud project) and Dr. Tiziana Ferrari (Technical Director of the EGI Foundation) provided details about progress of INDIGO-DataCloud and EGI respectively. They also provided the audience with lots of data about both the projects. It was absolutely impressive to learn how big is the EGI infrastructure, as it can be seen in the presentation. EGI currently federates more than 300 HTC centres, more than 20 cloud providers and provides over 2.6 billion CPU hours per year to more than 50.000 users distributed worldwide.

Professor Jesus Marco of CSIC (work package leader of INDIGO-DataCloud) acted as the moderator for the INDIGO-DataCloud sessions. Prof. Jesus also moderated a panel with seven Panel Experts including Dr. Tiziana Ferrari, Dr. Davide Salomoni and Sahdev Zala.

At this vibrant event, the EGI and INDIGO communities demonstrated many initiatives that are going on for a better science. It is clear that INDIGO-DataCloud can play a vital role for a sustainable cloud infrastructure for scientific communities in Europe and beyond. The detail of event and sessions can be found at the conference site. To learn more about event moments visit #egiconf17 and #indigosummit17 on Twitter.