Grid computing is a technology that allows in principle an integration of resources transparent to the final user, using digital certificates to access distributed resources in the authorization framework of what is known as a virtual organization.
The research line on “Advanced Computing and e-Science” at IFCA started around 2002 due to the requirements from different projects for support for simulation and data processing within large international collaborations, like CMS at LHC or ESA Planck mission.
The necessity to further develop the Grid technology motivated our initial research work in European projects like CrossGrid and DataGrid, where the first test-beds across whole Europe where setup. The participation of the group in the series of EGEE projects between 2004-2010 has assured a proper infrastructure support to our users.
One of our more active research projects is the development of middleware to support for parallel execution using the MPI protocol, and for interactive work. This was the objective of the Interactive European Grid project that we proposed and coordinated together with another twelve first line European centres, and has its continuation in the framework of ES-NGI and EGI.
We also extended our experience in Particle Physics and Astrophysics to new application domains: design of fusion reactor prototypes, modelling the flow in the atmosphere to understand pollution problems, simulation of the evolution of water resources, integration of remote instrumentation, or support to biodiversity and ecological models.
In the last years we have evolved towards Cloud computing. IFCA supports the FedCloud infrastructure, participates in the EGI-Engage and INDIGO-DataCloud H2020 projects. IFCA expertise includes support to IaaS based on OpenStack, and on PaaS tools.
The necessity for a stable framework regarding Grid infrastructures across Europe has led to the creation of the so called National Grid Initiatives. These are national level contact points with the mission of coordinating and promoting the usage of distributed computing infrastructures. The union of all the NGIs constitutes the European Grid Initiative, EGI.
We at IFCA coordinate the activity of the Spanish National Grid Initiative, ES-NGI, and represent the spanish grid community in the framework of the European Grid Initiative EGI.
The operation of the Portuguese NGI (PT-NGI) and the Spanish NGI (ES-NGI) is not performed independently but through IBERGRID, a collaborative agreement established between the two countries governments, setting a common umbrella for the distributed service deployment and effort sharing on national and global EGI tasks.
Our centre is hosting a node in the Spanish Supercomputing Network, coordinated by the BSC centre in Barcelona. This fact contributed to our general interest on advanced computing techniques, including the mechanisms for their integration. You can find more information about the activities related to supercomputing at IFCA here.
Our team has developed joint solutions in different fields like:
OOI (OpenStack OCCI Interface):
EGI Federated Cloud integration modules for OpenStack
TRUFA (Transcriptomes User-Friendly Analysis)