Engagement & NIL meeting

Gergely Sipos (EGI.eu)

This is a regular teleconference for the NGI International Liaisons (NIL), national/regional user community support teams and other stakeholders who are involved in EGI's 'Engagement activity'.

The EGI Engagement activity reaches out to scientific communities, researchers, educators and innovators in academia and industry and supports them in tackling scientific challenges with the use of ICT services, solutions and consultancy from the EGI community. This complex task requires coordinated outreach, technical support, training, testing activities - by the distributed teams and skills that are available in EGI. The NGI International Liaisons are key enablers and contributors to this, by linking national initiatives and teams into the European EGI Engagement landscape. The NGI International Liaison role is described at https://wiki.egi.eu/wiki/NGI_International_Liaison, alongside with resources and materials that can help the NILs be successful in community outreach, engagement, support. 

The EGI Engagement activity is defined and driven by the Engagement Strategy, which is described at http://go.egi.eu/engagementstrategy.

How to connect

Teleconference room (GTM1 GoToMeeting): https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/373962445

Notes of the EGI Engagement&NIL meeting
12. December 2017.
Meeting page: https://indico.egi.eu/indico/event/3539/
Notes written by Gergely Sipos


  • Gergely Sipos (Chair)
  • Genevieve Romier (CNRS, FranceGrilles NIL)
  • Joao Pina (LIP, Portugal NIL)
  • Enol Fernandez (EGI Foundation, User Community Support Team)


Updates from EGI (See slides attached to meeting agenda):

1. Service portfolio updates (Decisions from the last Council meeting)

Gergely presented the changes in the EGI Service Portfolio. These were approved at the last council meeting and will be implemented through the EGI Marketplace (http://marketplace.egi.eu):

  • Workload Manager service moves into the publicly visible space of the external portfolio (Beta for external customers)
  • Check-in service moves into the visible space of the external portfolio (Beta for external customers)
  • Check-in moves into Production state within the internal portfolio (Production for the NGIs)
  • Marketplace service moves into Beta phase of the internal portfolio (Beta for the NGIs) --> This is now the front-end for external customers and users to request services from EGI. 

2. Jupyter and Galaxy aaS task forces: Enol presented the status of the two setups: both are available for early adopter test users (Alpha state) The services will be stabilised based on the feedback.

  • Volunteer for test use if you are interested! (email enol.fernandez@egi.eu)
  • Join the open Task Force that finalise the services (galaxy-jupyter-pilots@mailman.egi.eu)
  • It was suggested to the Task Force to publish a service specification page in the Wiki which can describe the expected behaviour of the targeted Application Services, Answer FAQs (e.g. how to deal with version incompatibility issues in case of Galaxy plugins); Provide recognition to the Task Force members. The pages can be prepared based on the 'Service Design and Transition Package (SDTP) document that was already prepared --> Enol to follow this up.

 3. EOSC-hub – Stakeholder engagement: Gergely presented a 'big picture' overview of EOSC-hub and how Engagement with stakeholders is implemented within the project structure. An initial stakeholder mapping was shown, and will be revised at the kickoff meeting (Jan 8-12) by the task and WP leaders. An EOSC-hub week is planned for Spring 2018, which will be the plenary meeting for both members and partners of EOSC-hub. A f2f NIL meeting is planned to be co-located there. 

  • Meeting attendees stressed the importance of EOSC-hub defining its 'Service portfolio' as soon as possible, making this visible in the Marketplace, and communicating and training the NILs about these services to reach the full potential in the services. NILs can facilitate uptake and support based on the portfolio within member states. WP11 is already planning to organise Webinar-type trainings in the first period of the project. Primary purpose is to train communities within the consortium about the EOSC-hub services, but the Webinars will be open and announced to the NILs as well. 
  • Attendees raised the importance of continuing the email communication with the NILs, and even improving it with more frequent messages. For example, NILs would appreciate more frequent information updates about EGI Roadmaps, Relevant events. Other updates, such as appointment of a new NIL, major update with an EGI service should be also communicated to strenghten the 'community feeling'. The NIL email list should be considered as the channel to reach the NIL community (instead of EGI Website, Facebook, Twitter). Gergely will discuss with the EGI Press team better connecting the NIL email list into the mainstream EGI communication channels. 

4. EGI Engagement plan – Towards the next issue

A full draft of the next issue of the EGI Engagement plan is now available for comments: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_Zs3iCRtKnBGWSu4ww4gl-s2MPYkG9-MkVzQYVhEX4E/edit#heading=h.a97npq6ud94x. Gergely presented the draft version and encouraged feedback from the NILs. Please add comments directly to the document, or send in email before 15th of January. 

Updates from the NGIs:


Organised FranceGrilles Success Days in October. Presentations are available online at http://www.france-grilles.fr/succes-days-2017/. Gergely suggested to write an article about the event in the next EGI Newsletter. FranceGrilles organised the following training events recently (both in French): iRODS, 7-8th December in Strasbourg and Openstack Neutron 5-6th December in Clermont-Ferrand.


Connecting national services into an identity federation is stillongoing. This will serve ELIXIR-PT, and other communities. Once the national ID federation is established we can also more easily connect to European networks via Check-in. 

DISCUSSION:  How do NGI services fit into the EGI Marketplace?

Gergely kickstarted the discussion with presenting the role of NGI services within the Marketplace as of today, showing the 'back-end process' that handles service orders received from the Marketplace, and raised a few ideas how the picture could be extended with additional services from the NGIs. The following observations and comments were made by the attendees:

  • 'Low level services' (compute and storage) can already open up access to international users by joining VOs, however the entry barrier is higher for 'high level services'.
  • A 'regional services' (or similar?) category could be useful to give visibility to services that are not strongly federated in EGI, but are available for regional users. (Some users find EGI instead of the national infrastructure). The regional services category could be simply a redirection to national services. Probably there is no need to have full description and EGI.eu order management for these in the marketplace - Because the NGIs consider this only as another channel 'to catch users'. If there are orders, then those should be opened directly for the NGI representative not to EGI.eu staff.   
  • To avoid damage to repution, the EGI Markeplace should keep its focus on mature services. The Marketplace should be open to mature services even if those are not 'federated' in the traditional EGI sense (not connected to APEL accounting, ARGO monitoring, etc.)  An idea: NILs could be the 'service reviewers' for services registered from their country, with responsibilities of testing the services 2-3 times per year. 

Gergely will feed these observations into the Marketplace task of EOSC-hub which forumates and implements a strategy for Marketplace use in EGI, EOSC-hub, EOSC. 


To be defined depending on availability of a f2f session at the EOSC-hub week. 


There are minutes attached to this event. Show them.
    • 2:00 PM 2:30 PM
      Updates from EGI 30m
      * Service portfolio updates (Decisions from the last Council meeting) * Jupyter and Galaxy aaS task forces * EOSC-hub – Stakeholder engagement * EGI Engagement plan – Towards the next issue
    • 2:30 PM 3:00 PM
      Updates from the NGIs - Short round table update meeting attendees 30m
    • 3:00 PM 3:25 PM
      Discussion 25m
      * How do NGI services fit into the EGI Marketplace?
    • 3:25 PM 3:30 PM
      AOB 5m