EGI is the major customer and source of requirements for EMI. The two have closely collaborated since the initial phases of the proposal preparation activities and have now formaliz their relationship with concrete common initiatives.
The two activities of collecting and analysing requirements and delivering software products and support services are organized through a number of formal mechanisms:
- Requirements analysis and technical roadmaps: the EGI-InSPIRE project has established in October 2010 the Technology Collaboration Board (TCB). The TCB is composed of the leader of the major EGI activities (user communities, operations, policies and software auditing) and representatives of the software providers developing and supporting software for EGI, among which are EMI and IGE. This board is responsible to discuss high level requirements coming from user communities or EGI activities and get preliminary technical information on how the requirements can be incorporated into the EGI UMD Roadmap and the specific technical roadmaps of EMI and IGE. Once the requirements are formalised by the TCB, they can be further discussed by EMI directly with technical experts in EGI or the relevant user communities. This formal channel is now being complemented by the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding and a Service Level Agreement, which are foreseen to enter into force in December 2010.
- Software releases: EMI software is released to EGI using the software release process described [here]. The specific mechanism to announce releases and validate the acceptance criteria have been defined together with EGI and are implemented by the EMI SA1 Work Package and the EGI WP5 Work Package (Provisioning the Software Infrastructure). The tasks and milestones are formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by EMI and EGI in January 2011.
- User Support: EMI and EGI are part of an overall distributed user support infrastructure designed to optimize the response times and the load on support personnel and technical experts. In this structure EGI provides 1st and 2nd level support (via the local national help desks and the EGI DMSU respectively), while EMI provide 3rd level expert support for the middleware services under its responsibility. This model allows escalating incidents requiring modifications in the software to the appropriate technical experts without burdening them with incidents that can be solved using know workarounds, documentation clarifications, standard configuration changes, etc. The EMI User Support policies are described [here], the agreed service levels are described in a Service Level Agreement between EMI and EGI signed in December 2010 and based on the EMI Service Level Agreement Template.