EMI takes care of the user support for incidents in its middleware services. Customers such as the EGI infrastructure propagate tickets from their user support systems in case they are proven incidents of EMI components. These tickets are dealt with by EMI support staff and the solutions are returned back to the customer.
EMI uses the GGUS (Global Grid User Support) tool as its user support system. Users can get support and send requirements via GGUS. GGUS development started within the EGEE projects, and it is currently developed and deployed in the framework of the EGI-InSPIRE project. Using the same tool at both sides, infrastructure and middleware, simplifies the interface between them. GGUS provides EMI with sophisticated search functionality, report generation, interfaces to bug tracking systems used by different middleware components, and automatic ticket reminder including escalation indication.
EMI support is organized in Support Units (SUs), one for each product or group of components plus a generic EMI SU. Supporters involved in a SU are notified when a ticket gets assigned to their SU, so they can process it immediately. Priorities indicate the urgency for a solution to an incident and service level agreements with the EMI customers specify the time frame in which tickets have to be dealt with.
EMI is developing Grid middleware services which are taken by Grid infrastructures and deployed and maintained on the infrastructure for their users. While the Grid infrastructures are supporting the end users EMI is supporting the infrastructures.
The EMI support team is collaborating with the user support channels of the infrastructure providers: EMI is doing 3rd level support from the end-user's perspective. Here the experts of the different services provide guidance and software enhancements or fixes for their services.
Who Are the "Users"?
Having infrastructures as customers the users of the EMI support are primarily the supporters of the infrastructures. They escalate tickets which are proven incidents of EMI components to the EMI tracking system.
EMI provides a set of services related to the development, maintenance and support of its distributed computing middleware. The services are mainly targeted at infrastructure managers and site administrators, but end users are encouraged to contribute with comments and requests. EMI currently provides the following services:
EMI Service Catalogue
|Software releases||EMI provides releases of its distributed computing middleware to infrastructure administrators and individual users based on its standard release policies and the requirements received by users|
|EMI in collaboration with infrastructure managers, application and software developers and end users performs analysis and prioritization of the user requirements as the first step of the provision of targeted middleware components bringing value to the users|
|EMI provides support to site administrators and end users through a web-based support system called GGUS and managed by EGI|
The described services are provided according to the Policies described in the nest section.
The service levels for the provision of the services to Infrastructure Managers is regulated by specific Service Level Agreements signed with each EMI customer. The provision of requirement analysis and support services to end users is not in general regulated by SLAs, but provided by EMI with standard service levels that depend on the available effort and existing priorities at any give time.
Software Release Policy
The EMI release policy aims at striking a good balance between the conflicting requirements of stability and innovation.
Software Maintenance Policy
The software released by EMI is maintained and supported for a fixed period of time. EMI supports all components of two major release of the EMI distribution, that is all the components included in the current major release and those included in the previous major release on all supported platforms of each release. A certain version of a component can of course be part of both EMI major releases, in which case the support policy of the current release apply. The following support and end-of-life policies are provided for each major release of a component in an EMI distribution release:
EMI is committed to provide adequate support to all the users of its software products. EMI provides expert technical support to infrastructure administrators and users in case issues are found that require changes in the code. The preferred channel to do submit a bug report is the GGUS system maintained by EGI (https://gus.fzk.de/). Issues related to the middleware services are first analysed by EGI support teams and escalated to EMI in case of need.
The actual service levels for the services provided by EMI are negotiated with each customer and described in a Service Level Agreement (SLA) signed by EMI and the customer. The SLA contains detailed information on items such as the agreed definitions of the priority and severity values, the expected reaction times, the estimated time to solution for different types of issues, etc. The standard EMI SLA can be found here.