User Support & Application (NA4)

The overall goal of this activity is to ensure that Grid technology and the EGEE infrastructure are used successfully by a broad spectrum of scientific collaborations. To build on the successes of the previous EGEE projects, this activity focuses its efforts in three areas: firstly, key aspects of general user and virtual organisation support; secondly, work with strategic disciplines; and lastly, the building of new and existing user communities.

Furthermore User community support and expansion activity will support Local and National wide user applications from diverse scientific fields.

Support for virtual organisations (VOs) and for their users is vital for ensuring high levels of satisfaction with the EGEE infrastructure. “Support” is a broad term that includes several activities each requiring different expertise. Three distinct teams will provide: Virtual Organisation Support aimed at easing the management of users within a VO as well as the large and growing number of VOs using EGEE; Application Porting Support to aid developers in effectively porting a VO’s applications to the Grid; Direct User Support to help users with day-to-day problems when using the Grid. These teams provide managerial support, technical consulting, and operational support, respectively, for all users of the EGEE infrastructure. Each team will interact with support teams of national or regional Grid initiatives through liaisons funded by EGEE. Similarly, they will interact with identified support teams from the larger and more established virtual organisations, such as the integration team (EIS) for the LHC community.

Strategic Discipline Clusters are central to the development of the services provided by the infrastructure. Scientific areas have been chosen based on their scientific merit and on the potential value to the advancement of Grid technology by their intensive use of existing services and the development of new high level application oriented services. The mature areas chosen for such work are high energy physics, life sciences, earth sciences, computational chemistry, astronomy and astrophysics, and fusion. In addition we propose a new area which aims to research on the implementation of a Grid Observatory, to develop a scientific view of the patterns of Grid usage, problems and recovery.

Community building aims to minimize the effort required to support the numerous virtual organisations and users exploiting the EGEE infrastructure by making them as self-reliant as possible. First, EGEE-III will bring users from different scientific disciplines together to share their experiences and techniques and help support one another. Second, the project will encourage adoption of Grid technologies and coordinate use of common resources and services within particular disciplines. These activities target both new and existing user communities. The technical issues and critical disciplines will shift significantly over the lifetime of the project. Similarly, we expect the users most involved with EGEE to change dynamically as their experience develops and their needs change. To address this fluid situation, we consequently propose to fund travel and participation by users who are not members of the EGEE-III consortium in interdisciplinary, intra-disciplinary, and topical meetings to achieve the community building goals, rather than funding the salaries of participants.