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International Collaboration to Extend and Advance Grid Education OGF User Forum Boston, USA, 23 International Collaboration to Extend and Advance Grid Education OGF User Forum Boston, USA, 23 th – xxth February 2008 t. Infrastructure Roberto Barbera, Marco Fargetta, Emidio Giorgio Giuseppe Andronico INFN Catania 23 February 2008 INFSO-SSA-26637

Outline • Introduction • Training experiences – GILDA – P-GRADE – Others • • Outline • Introduction • Training experiences – GILDA – P-GRADE – Others • • • Summer School Multi-Middleware Coexistence Academics Gap Analysis and Recommendation Future Work INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Introduction • Users have problems to follow and understand Grid evolution • Grid efforts Introduction • Users have problems to follow and understand Grid evolution • Grid efforts mainly focused on implementation – low interest in knowledge dissemination • Dissemination should be seriously considered for the future of Grid – The success of a technology depends also on the ability to spread its knowledge among users • Results of past training and dissemination activities should be evaluated to understand how to improve the quality of Grid education INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Training Experiences • Several projects carried out training and dissemination activities as part of Training Experiences • Several projects carried out training and dissemination activities as part of their goals • Recently, some private companies started to provide professional training services customised to the needs of customers • Some of these experiences have been analysed to understand common problem on Grid training INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

GILDA (https: //gilda. ct. infn. it) • GILDA activities started in 2004 in the GILDA (https: //gilda. ct. infn. it) • GILDA activities started in 2004 in the context of INFN Grid and EGEE Projects • Its purpose was to create a testbed entirely dedicated to training and dissemination – Based on g. Lite middleware GILDA provides important facilities to users, such as § § Certification Authority Virtual Organization Membership Service Monitoring systems Support systems • More than 200 training and dissemination events have been supported so far and many participant · years of training have been delivered – Support spreads from the simple release of certificates to the full use of the grid resources available in the testbed Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008 INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum,

GILDA: problems and solutions • Loose identification procedures for hosts and personal user certificates GILDA: problems and solutions • Loose identification procedures for hosts and personal user certificates – Beginners are discouraged from the strict identification required from a “real” Certification Authority – GILDA CA requires only to fill a web form. § This practice has clearly increased the number of new certificates released (about 11, 000 until now!). – Risks are mitigated by the small scope (time and resources) of these certificates (usually 2 weeks) • Use of generic certificates and accounts – Participants to training events tend not to follow preliminary procedures (certificate request, VO subscriptions, etc. ) – Using GILDA, trainers have just to specify the number of participants foreseen for the event they are organizing § system accounts, including generic certificates are created on the User Interface machines • a generic certificate is not bind to any specific identity INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

GILDA: problems and solutions • Use of wiki page for on-/off-line training – Transparencies GILDA: problems and solutions • Use of wiki page for on-/off-line training – Transparencies are not effective as training material. § They offer a limited space for long text such as option commands or command outputs § They are hard to be kept updated with new features. § GILDA provides a wiki site that can be easily updated (). § The wiki site fosters and enhances the collaboration among trainers • Use of virtual machines for training – Virtual machines are very effective instruments for installation tutorials where lots of machines are installed from scratch. Use of real machines would be a pain because of reinstallation times. – Virtual machines are effectively used for dissemination, since they can be customized and made available to users willing to play with them INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

GILDA Interface: GENIUS • GENIUS is a web portal aiming to provide users with GILDA Interface: GENIUS • GENIUS is a web portal aiming to provide users with an environment where they can easily learn Grid • Many beginners are discouraged from the complex interface of grid middlewares – Mostly because of Unix command line, hostile to users with no computer science background • GENIUS offers a graphical, simple and intuitive interface accessible from a common web browser – This is very effective in introducing Grid concepts § users do not have to check commands syntax and can abstract easily their meaning § Sites having outgoing firewall overcome it because all traffic is through the https port INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

P-GRADE • The P-GRADE Portal is developed by MTA-SZTAKI (Hungary) and has been made P-GRADE • The P-GRADE Portal is developed by MTA-SZTAKI (Hungary) and has been made available in GILDA since December 2006 • Serves as a demonstration, dissemination and learning environment for everybody who is interested in the usage and capabilities of GILDA, the EGEE grid middleware and the P-GRADE Portal itself • It provides graphical environment – Allows certificate management, job submission, file transfer, information system browsing, application monitoring on GILDA and high level tools extending g. Lite capabilities such as workflow manager and others • As a result the learning time required for grids can be significantly shortened by the tool INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

P-GRADE based courses • Attendees of P-GRADE courses are provided with pre-defined exercises that P-GRADE based courses • Attendees of P-GRADE courses are provided with pre-defined exercises that introduce the general concept of parallel Grid application • Based on the examples students can understand distinguish the generic Grid concepts from implementation details • P-GRADE and g. Lite developers can collect feedback from potential Grid users • Having a permanent training environment is very beneficial for users that can continue their P-GRADE studies after the course – However, as the generic certificates expire these people must obtain new, personal, GILDA certificates and register to the GILDA VO again INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Others: OMII-UK and Synopsis • OMII-UK works with Grid tools and provides documentation and Others: OMII-UK and Synopsis • OMII-UK works with Grid tools and provides documentation and training on them – OMII-UK trainers experienced that: § Students should be able to select not just suitable middleware for his or her task, but portals, services, etc. § Accessing and using a t-Infrastructure must be very simple § A t-Infrastructure should support multiple technologies § t-infrastructure protects real infrastructures from students • Synopsis runs commercial training courses on its t. Infrastructure – Synopsis team experienced that: § It is vital that the student experience is satisfactory § Resources they provide must only be used for training § Commercial training there may be some specific requirements relating to student monitoring INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Summer Schools • Summer schools have been essential to promote the Grid technology around Summer Schools • Summer schools have been essential to promote the Grid technology around the world • The Grid infrastructure, where students do their assignments, has an important role in the learning process – A frustrating experience at the school can produce a very negative impact on Grid adoption • Implementation of a valuable infrastructure requires an analysis of location, number of students and nature of the school – The evaluations can be complex and require a relevant part of the time spent to organise the school • A standard model for the training infrastructure can improve the quality of the school INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Multi-Middleware Coexistence • Many Grid courses are not related to a single middleware but Multi-Middleware Coexistence • Many Grid courses are not related to a single middleware but show a Grid work in general, independently of the middleware deployed on it • Create an t-Infrastructure for each middleware requires a huge number of resources • The ICEAGE project has started an activity which aims to create a Multi Middleware (e/t)-Infrastructure – A single hardware infrastructure where different middlewares coexist side by side (middleware coexistence) • The goal of this approach is the harmonisation of interactions among the middlewares • Users can use the same resources with different middleware (the one they already know! No more waste of time learning new middlewares) INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Multi-Middleware Coexistence • Users have to access the infrastructure only with a single, personal, Multi-Middleware Coexistence • Users have to access the infrastructure only with a single, personal, certificate – Middlewares have to share the users database and share the access policies – In ICEAGE several solutions have been found to export the VOMS information to other middlewares • Resource usage information has to be coherent among the middlewares – this is easy if there is a single local scheduler • An infrastructure based on Multi-middleware coexistence has been deployed in the context of the ICEAGE project and it is the infrastructure that is being bused for IWSGC’ 08 INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Academics • Grid computing has been introduced in the curricula of many universities courses Academics • Grid computing has been introduced in the curricula of many universities courses • Recently it has become the topic of dedicated courses and not just a part in other subjects • Courses are influenced by the specific middleware/implementation they have to use • The standardisation of a training infrastructure is crucial to make the courses more independent – especially for courses outside computer science area where Grid has to be just a tool the students have to learn – the GILDA t-Infrastructure is a good example INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Gap Analysis and Recommendation • The proliferation of Grid computing outside its original scope Gap Analysis and Recommendation • The proliferation of Grid computing outside its original scope is quite limited • It is important for Grid itself to promote new and more efficient training activities – These should also involve the universities which are the most important places for the creation of knowledge • Grid Organisations should set up policies and standards for training and induction – The discussion on policies and standards has to be carried on by official bodies (i. e. , ETTF and OGF) • Students need to exercise continuously – Public authorities should be encouraged to consider the training as a vital part of a Grid project and finance the creation of a permanent multi-middleware training infrastructure INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008

Future Work • Looking at experiences of various parties in providing training infrastructures an Future Work • Looking at experiences of various parties in providing training infrastructures an effort has been done to identify common problems faced and best practices for solutions • So far, only some tentative recommendations have been done based on the best practices identified • Further work is required to determine the policy implications of these best practices and to formulate these for dissemination to the relevant decision-makers INFSO-SSA-26637 OGF User Forum, Boston, t. Infrastructure, Giuseppe Andronico, 23/02/2008