Why did OGF initiate the OGF-Europe project?
OGF-Europe was proposed as an opportunity to capitalise on significant European investments in grid and related technologies over the past 8 -10 years. The lack of open standards in the critical area of middleware is one limiting factor in commercial adoption of grid computing to date. The OGF-Europe project seeks to accelerate standards development and adoption, through a vigorous work plan of providing the mechanisms for achieving near-term solutions to known grid adoption challenges resulting in well-defined best practices and global standards. The ability for standards bodies to act in coordination with market requirements is an important factor in speeding adoption. OGF-Europe will focus on the essence of mobilisation and integration of grid communities with the intent of delivering actionable and sustainable results.
How is OGF-Europe structured?
OGF-EUROPE consists of a consortium of nine partners: geographically well distributed over EU27 and all prominent leaders in Grid activities. These organizations have already engaged in outreach to grid user communities, developed middleware, deployed e-Infrastructures, and worked on developing grid standards and best practices. Their expertise will be leveraged to mobilize additional end-user communities, broaden adoption in early adopter sectors, and facilitate a more aggressive path toward grid up-take across Europe.
How will OGF-Europe and OGF-Global coordinate activities?
OGF-Europe and OGF will coordinate their activities through the 'European Chapter of the Open Grid Forum E.E.I.G.' (OGF.eeig, for short) which is a European-based legal entity (specifically, a European Economic Interest Grouping) designed to extend the OGF model to Europe in alignment with OGF's mission, strategy and leadership to stimulate, co-ordinate and harmonise networked actions across Europe and globally.
OGF.eeig is governed by an internal regulation natively ensuring synchronisation mechanisms with the OGF and managing structures to execute on expected synergies in Europe. More specifically, OGF.eeig has the mission of: (1) expanding active participation of European public and private individuals and organisations in the work of OGF; (2) channeling European achievements, priorities, requirements and policies into OGF's global strategy for standardization and grid adoption; (3) delivering global Grid advancements, best practices and specifications to European scientific and commercial entities. According to its Article of Association, OGF.eeig must re-invest all possible profits in the activities of the EEIG specified in the mission summarised above.
What are the key deliverables of OGF-Europe?
OGF-Europe, across its 24-month duration, will focus on the achievement of 8 main objectives:
- Provide European structural support to building Open Standards
- Contribute to the OGF Technical Strategy & Roadmap Report covering European perspectives & outcomes
- Document challenges on standardisation with Research & Industry vertical markets through workshops
- Mobilise e-Infrastructure Communities on the business value of Grids & support the take-up of Grid adoption
- Introduce in depth tutorial activities around the Community Outreach Seminars & OGF events in Europe
- Create European surveys on building & operating e-Infrastructures within key European communities
- Deliver two international OGF events organised around Europe providing a platform to exchange knowledge, showcase results, display technological and business demonstrations
- Facilitate the documentation of Grid best practices from European-based R&D & Enterprise-based projects and initiatives which are capitalised for Grid adoption purposes
Major tangible results of OGF-Europe comprise: 3 reports supporting OGF Technical & Strategic Roadmap, 2 survey reports on trends & Grid practices, 4 workshops on challenges on standardisation issues, 4 Grid adoption challenge reports; 6 Community outreach seminars including 4 in-depth tutorials and 6 Community best practice reports. Additionally, 2 OGF-EUROPE international events will be held, including OGF23, hosted by Barcelona Supercomputing Centre & co-located with BEinGRID industry days and OGF25 planned in collaboration with the EGEE User Forum in Spring 2009.
What activities can we anticipate as the OGF-Europe chapter begins operations?
The scheduled activities as OGF-Europe unfolds in the first six months (started in February) are the following:
1) Monthly eAnnouncements on results of the project posted on the website starting immediately
2) Two analysis surveys will be carried out by April to analyse priority issues and to sort them into community practice and/or standardisation tasks. The surveys will be worked in parallel with the GIN and enterprise activities
3) A series of 4 concise and focused workshops (the first will be at OGF23) aimed at enhancing the presence and influence of OGF in research and industry vertical end-user markets and corporate data environments.
4) Two international events starting with OGF23 in Barcelona 2-6 June 2008. The second event in collaboration with EGEE in Spring 2009
5) Community Outreach seminars (the first planned for the Spring in the UK) organized on different topics to educate IT decision makers on the business value of Grids
Is this just a return to the old Grid Forum Europe, which merged with US- and Asia-based Grid Forums in 2001 to form the Global Grid Forum?
While on the surface this might appear to be a 'back to the future' scenario, in reality it is quite different. First of all, since the late 1990's, the European Commission and numerous national governments have invested millions of euro to architect, build, and manage grid infrastructures and applications. The OGF-Europe project, while near-term in nature, is specifically aimed at leveraging these investments to increase up-take not just in research but in commercial and small-medium enterprises. As standards development organizations like OGF grow and begin to have a more mature portfolio of standards, it is not uncommon for national or regional chapters to be launched to perform the 'last-mile' adoption of those standards in their respective geographies. The launch of the OGF Europe chapter and the OGF-Europe project represents a milestone in the maturity of the grid industry in that adoption globally is dependent upon concerted outreach and adoption efforts within regions or nations. I believe OGF-Europe is uniquely positioned to represent OGF's global standards and best practices as well as advances in grid technologies and usage to enterprises of all types across Europe.
What Grid adoption issues will OGF-Europe begin tackling?
We see the growing demands for analyzing massive data as one of today's major points of discussion. The Call for Participation for OGF23 sets aside a part of the agenda to cover these issues and may refer to the results in the recommendations reports delivered post event. We hope this type of information will entice user communities such as those using digital repositories to realize the importance of enabling interoperability between providers and this is achieved through the development of best practices and open standards.
OGF-Europe Web Site