Grid INFN Virtual Laboratory for Dissemination Activities (GILDA)

Grid INFN Virtual Laboratory for Dissemination Activities (GILDA)

Roberto Barbera (Università di Catania and Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Italy), Valeria Ardizzone (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Italy) and Leandro Ciuffo (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-184-1.ch024
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Abstract

The Grid INFN virtual Laboratory for Dissemination Activities (GILDA) is a fully working Grid test-bed devoted to training and dissemination activities. Open to anyone who wants to have its first hand experience with grid systems, GILDA has been adopted as the official training tool by several Grid projects around the world. All services, tools and materials produced in the past tutorials can be freely used by anyone who wants to learn and teach grid technology. Additionally, through a set of applications ported on its Grid Infrastructure, developers can identify components and learn by examples how to “gridify” their applications. This work presents the main features of such training-Infrastructure.
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Introduction

Launched in 2004 by the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), GILDA (the Grid INFN virtual Laboratory for Dissemination Activities) is a fully working Grid test-bed devoted to dissemination activities. This infrastructure is open to anyone who wants to have a first hand experience with grid systems. Actually, GILDA can be an important tool for at least three main user categories:

  • Grid newcomers: People willing to start learning how to use a grid infrastructure;

  • Grid application developers: Through a set of applications ported on GILDA, developers can identify components and learn by examples how to “gridify” their applications;

  • Tutors: GILDA has been developed keeping training in mind. Thus, all services, tools and materials produced in the past tutorials can be freely used by anyone who wants to teach grid technology.

Indeed, GILDA has been adopted as the official training tool by several Grid projects, such as EGEE, EELA, EU-IndiaGRID, EUMEDGRID, EUChinaGRID, ICEAGE, and several others, becoming a “de facto” standard training-Infrastructure (hereafter t-infrastructure) in Europe and in several other parts of the world for a dissemination of Grid Computing.

The GILDA objectives can be summarized as follows:

  • To raise awareness of Grid Computing benefits

  • To provide customized formats for dissemination events, according to the skills of attendants

  • To facilitate appropriate free on-line content and services for training purposes

  • To encourage the use of a complete t-infrastructure by new communities

This article aims at presenting an overview of GILDA facilities as well as to invite the reader to try such t-infrastructure.

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Dissemination Instruments

The main objectives of GILDA activity are to encourage and help new and existing communities, to support them for improvement or migration of their applications to the Grid infrastructure, to accelerate the adoption of grid technologies, and to increase the satisfaction of those currently using the Grid service throw the communities’ feedback. Training activities are a key component of the knowledge dissemination process, ensuring that all users fully understand the characteristics of the offered grid services and that they have enough expertise to properly use the available grid infrastructure. In order to accomplish the main objectives, several dissemination instruments are used. A brief description of the instruments is presented below.

Key Terms in this Chapter

gLite: A Grid middleware developed by the EGEE project

EGEE: Enabling Grids for E-SciencE (EGEE) is an EU funded project to build a 24/7 Grid Production Service for scientific research. Already serving many scientific disciplines, it aims to provide academic and industrial researchers with access to major computing resources, independent of their locations. The EGEE project is led by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and involves over 70 partner institutions across Europe, Asia and the United States.

VO: Virtual Organization is a group of individuals or institutions who can use and share information and computational resources in a grid system.

Certification Authority: A trusted third party for signing certificates for network entities. Other network entities can check the signature to verify that a CA has authenticated the bearer of a certificate.

T-Infrastructure: Short for Training Infrastructure, i.e., specialized e-infrastructure devoted for educational purposes, including software, data and computer systems required to deliver courses and to support tutees and learners.

E-Infrastructure: Short term for Electronic Infrastructure, i.e., all ICT based resources (distributed networks, computers, storage devices, software etc.) and support operations which facilitate the collaboration among research communities by sharing resources, analysis tools and data.

Middleware: Software that sits between the operating system and application programs and provides a set of common services to them.

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