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EMI at OGF 33

Open Grid Forum (OGF) is an open standard community that drives the rapid evolution and adoption of open standards in distributed computing. One of the reasons why open standards are important for EMI is that the adoption of open standards enables trust to existing and new user communities that fear vendor-locks of proprietary technology. In other words, the adoption of open standards bears the potential to overcome usage limitations and to extend the set of user communities. Also, the adoption of open standards enables interoperability with a huge set of other technology providers adopting the same standards but providing access to different kinds of resources. In this sense, end-users not only experience a broader choice of provided resources, but also a wider set of functionalities given by different technologies that adopt the same standards.

Apart from adoption standards from the Organization of the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), the EMI project is adopting many OGF standards, provides useful production feedback and is an active contributor to the standardization process. These activities are clearly manifested in the recently concluded OGF 33 where EMI members chaired and contributed to important community and standard groups via a significant amount of OGF 33 sessions.

Firstly, EMI members steer the activities of the Usage Record (UR) group, which discusses approaches towards an evolution of usage records, including storage record tracking besides an improvement of the existing compute record tracking schema. One major discussion item of OGF33 was the Storage Accounting Record (STAR) specification of the EMI consortium that provides a significant input to this particular standardization group. In the session at OGF33, several interesting discussions around STAR took place (e.g. time duration and validity) as well as clarifications about the scope of the emerging usage record in version 2.0 (e.g. including virtualized environment support).

The PGI/BES/JSDL/GLUE2 groups discussed a joint roadmap to evolve the current standard specifications. The EMI Execution Service (ES) specification offers a common interface for executing jobs and is a crucial input to the standardization process of these groups. The interfaces and features of the EMI – ES specification are discussed within the group alongside the contributions from many other stakeholders. Discussions at OGF33 revealed that many concepts of the EMI-ES will be adopted by the next generation of standard specifications of the aforementioned groups.

EMI is chairing the Grid Interoperation Now (GIN) community group that is the group that brought the EMI consortium together and that works on the interoperability of world-wide infrastructures going thus beyond the European focus of EMI. Adopted technologies and standards provided by EMI in Europe have the potential to influence and steer activities in areas outside Europe leading also to the adoption of EMI products in non-European infrastructures (e.g. China).

In a more political context, the EMI Strategic Director reported on the current situation on standardization activities in Europe and beyond as part of the Standards and Interoperability for e-Infrastructure Implementation Initiative (SIENA) OGF day. In this context, it was recognized that EMI is an important driver of standards in Europe, but the greater distributed computing community needs to work together with similar international infrastructures via open standards to support better global research communities.

Finally, at OGF33, several EMI members also observed the progress in emerging open standards such as the Distributed Resource Management Allocation API (DRMAA) version 2.0 as well as activities around the Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI). EMI monitors emerging standards as part of its standardization activities in order to explore trends in the wider community and the potential of adopting more open standards during the project run-time. This in turn has an impact of the uptake of EMI products outside existing user communities making them even attractive to be used in commercial environments thus going beyond the traditional academic use cases.

OGF33 was co-located with the EGI Technical Forum.