The VRC is defined as an organisational grouping that brings together transient Virtual Organisations within a persistent and sustainable structure. A VRC must be a self-organising group that collects and represents the interests of a focussed collection of researchers across a clear and well-defined field. Named contacts are agreed upon by the VRC to perform specific roles and these then form the communication channel between the VRC and EGI. EGI welcomes any scientific community to submit a proposal for the accreditation of an EGI VRC. VRC proposal must demonstrate that it represents a community of researchers that has an established existence outside of the VRC, i.e. that it has structure (such as an ESFRI project, EIROFORUM laboratory, national research structure. professional organisation or affiliation, etc.) and that this body represents this particular community. This community must also show that it has an established governance model and open mechanisms for new participants to enter (or leave) the organisation, and that all members of this organisation will have access to all the services offered by the VRC, i.e. beyond those who are just part of the proposal. These conditions enable EGI.eu to recognise the VRC as being the ‘voice’ of a particular community of users within the infrastructure. EGI can provide help and advice on suggested best practices for such organisational models if needed.
Become an EGI VRC: http://www.egi.eu/user-support/becoming_a_community/
Scientific research is no longer being conducted within a single research group in a single institution in a single country but in Virtual Research Communities (VRCs) that span national borders encompassing many different organisations but with a need to share ICT resources. EGI provides the e-Infrastructure that enables the researchers within a VRC to collaborate, communicate, share resources, access remote computers or equipment and produce results as effectively as if they, and the resources they require, were physically co-located. Becoming an identified VRC within EGI offers several benefits for researchers, scientists and the developers of distributed scientific applications. The talk overviews the EGI VRC model, the benefits of establishing EGI VRCs for scientific communities and the landscape of already established VRCs.
Description of the work
EGI is a partnership between National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and a coordinating body, named EGI.eu to operate a sustainable, pan-European Grid infrastructure for international scientific communities. EGI.eu is seen as the glue enabling coherence between the NGIs for the benefit of their users and members of Virtual Research Communities or VRCs. VRC membership in EGI offers the following key benefits for researchers, scientists and the developers of distributed scientific applications:
VRCs can access computing, data storage and other types of resource made available by EGI stakeholders through open source middleware software solutions. VRC members can store, process and index large datasets and can interact with partners using the secured services of the EGI infrastructure.
The user support units of the NGIs and EGI.eu help VRC members during the routine usage of the systems and provide assistance to access and utilise the largest multi-disciplinary grid in the world.
VRCs will have the ability to establish their own Virtual Organisations (VOs) as collections of hardware, software and human resources configured in order to share capacities, to collaborate with partners and to run data intensive simulations. The VOs can benefit from the resources provided by NGIs and other VRCs.
NGIs provide trainers and technology specialists for VRCs to support them during the integration and adaptation of their legacy applications and datasets to the EGI infrastructure. The combination of VRC’s own training resources together with EGI’s infrastructure-related modules can provide comprehensive packages for VRC members in an efficient and timely manner.
VRCs can influence the evolution of EGI’s services through representation in the User Community Board and the User Services Advisory Group. Based on requirements collected from its members, VRCs can advise EGI on its planning and operational priorities.
The presentation gives an overview of the benefits of EGI VRCs, the VRC accreditation process and the profile of already established VRCs. VRCs benefit from the services provided by members of the EGI collaboration, as well as from the services provided by other VRCs. VRCs can influence the evolution of EGI software and services through various mechanisms, primarily through the User Community Board. The EGI VRC model contributes to the sustainability of European Distributed Computing Infrastructures and to the sustainability of European scientific communities to a large extent.