EMI's main customers are the major European and international infrastructure projects, scientific user communities developing applications to run on the infrastructures and making use of the middleware services, standardization bodies and commercial companies offering distributed computing services to their customers.
The primary target is represented by major European and international infrastructure providers, including but not limited to:
- EGI, currently the major customer and source of requirement for EMI. The two have closely collaborated since the initial phases of the proposal preparation activities and are now formalizing their relationship with concrete common initiatives. The activities of collecting and analysing requirements and delivering software products and support services are organized through a number of formal mechanisms, including Requirements analysis and technical roadmaps, Software releases and User support
- PRACE, another important source of requirement for EMI in particular in the domain of High Performance Computing. Members of the project preparation teams of EMI and PRACE have collaborated since the initial phases of the proposal preparation activities and are now formalizing their relationship.
- WLCG, the largest and most active user community using the EMI middleware services. Although a large part of the infrastructure and services used by WLCG are managed by sites participating in EGI, WLCG has expressed the need to directly control the process of defining new requirements and implementing them in future middleware services. To this end, WLCG is establishing a technical board that will collect and analyse the requirements of the HEP community and make recommendations on how the middleware services (and also other software) have to evolve.
- OSG, which has a long story of collaboration with European infrastructure projects especially with EGEE. During the preparation phase of the EMI project, contacts were established with OSG representatives to collect feedback and make sure that the collaboration would continue after the transition from EGEE to EGI and EMI. OSG and EMI are engaged in technical and strategic collaborations.
EMI and EGI-InSPIRE are two of the six projects funded under "Distributed Computing Infrastructures" sub-topic of the e-Infrastructures topic of the FP7 "Capacities" Specific Programme Call 7 (FP7-Infrastructures-2010-2), which closed in November 2009. The other four are:
- IGE, the Initiative for Globus in Europe provides the European link with Globus technology. A close collaboration with IGE will ensure better interoperability and convergence on standards. It will also ensure that those components within the EMI stack with Globus dependencies can be more effectively supported.
- EDGI, the European Desktop Grid Initiative will develop bridge middleware that integrates ARC-, gLite- and UNICORE-based Grids with Desktop Grids (BOINC and XtremWebHEP-E). Interoperability of grid services with desktop grid technology already began with gLite during the EGEE III project. The EMI collaboration with EDGI will further extend this to ARC and UNICORE, and in general all the middleware services supported by EMI where possible.
- StratusLab will incorporate virtualisation and cloud technologies into existing and future grid infrastructures. The StratusLab Toolkit will benefit infrastructure operators through simplified administration, increased flexibility, and improved resilience. For research communities, StratusLab will improve the usability of distributed computing resources, attracting scientific and industrial users who have embraced the cloud computing model. It will also strengthen European know-how in virtualisation and cloud technologies. EMI aims to have a strong relationships with this project in order to ensure that the EMI components can be actually used within virtualized environments being also compatible with cloud technologies.
- Venus-C will develop and deploy a Cloud Computing service for research and industry communities in Europe. This will offer an industrial-quality service oriented platform based on virtualisation technologies. The project aims to enable easy deployment of end-user services, thus making e-Infrastructures more widely useful to a range of research fields. The project will be industry led and will have access to Microsoft Azure, a major commercial Cloud service. In this context, it is expected that there will be a fruitful exchange of know-how between EMI and Venus-C in the field of Cloud computing and technologies.
The six "DCI Projects" have come together on several occasions, in particular during the"Engaging European DCIs Together" workshop organised by the SIENA project in May-June 2010. As a result of an ongoing joint discussion, the parties have produced a written DCI Collaborative Roadmap that aims to harmonize these core technologies and thus strengthen and broaden the set of services underpinning all distributed computing activities. In particular, the integration of core middleware services such as those provided by EMI and Globus with Desktop Grids and Cloud-related toolkits will establish a new level of pervasiveness for distributed computing.
The specific actions agreed between EMI and each of the other parties are summarized below:
The roadmap document further articulates EMI's committment to the establishment of a functional Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCI) ecosystem where all relevant projects and activities can provide expertise and results.