A great deal of research towards new ICT developments is done in the context of collaborative projects. SURFsara participates in a large number of such cooperative alliances. Many projects take place under the auspices of ESFRI (European e-infrastructure projects). SURFsara plays a leading role in various projects.
European data projects
SURFsara participates in the following international projects relating to research data infrastructure:
EUDAT is a European project whose goal is the establishment of a shared European infrastructure for research data. The project was founded in October 2011. EUDAT is the European response to the exponential growth of research data in the last few decades. The project is developing a sustainable strategy for the recording, analysis and storage of data, as well as enabling secure access to the data. Within EUDAT, SURFsara has developed the B2SAFE service and also participates in the creation of the B2SHARE service.
European HPC projects
SURFsara participates in the following international projects relating to high performance computing (HPC):
European Exascale Software Initiative fase 2 (EESI2). Future supercomputers are expected to consist of millions of cores. By 2020, computing speed will no longer be measured in petaflops but in exaflops. Exascale represents 1018, and entails 1 exaflop of computing capacity. But such computers also place high demands on the software to be used. The goal of the EESI2 project (2011-2015) is the identification of the primary issues concerning software improvement and the development of solutions to these problems. During EESI2 SURFsara has collaborated with many European sister-institutions in the field of application software. SURFsara was also responsible for organising the concluding workshop.
Fortissimo is a collaborative project that makes it feasible for European businesses to conduct product simulations. In this project, ICT businesses and HPC service providers from the Netherlands and abroad offer their services in the areas of simulation and modelling. The desired result is a marketplace that provides access to hardware, expertise, applications and other tools. SURFsara is a partner in the Fortissimo experiments. Four of the first series of 60 experiments were conducted at SURFsara.
National computing centres across Europe collaborate under the auspices of PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe). PRACE offers access to a world-class HPC infrastructure comprising the European Tier-0 and Tier-1 supercomputers. This allows researchers to perform computations using supercomputers in other European countries. All participating computing centres make computing time available to researchers from other countries, and exchange this time with the other centres. Dutch researchers can request computing time on the European Tier 0 supercomputers through this programme. For further information please consult the PRACE-project on our website.
An industry-led initiative, ETP4HPC is a technology platform for High Performance Computing. The platform will define research priorities for the development of a globally competitive HPC technology ecosystem in Europe. SURFsara is a participant and provides the administration for this project, which is legally based in the Netherlands.
EGI is an alliance of 34 European countries and two major research institutions aimed at facilitating cooperation among the European grid infrastructures. EGI.eu coordinates the EGI Global Services which include personnel, infrastructure and technical services. The personnel services concern coordination and support, the infrastructure services entail the integration of the grid infrastructure and the technical services assist cooperation within the research community. Many of these services come about through collaborative projects. SURFsara is a partner in the EGI.eu collaborative projects EGI-InSPIRE and EGI-Engage. EGI has been located in the SURFsara offices since 2011.
SURFsara also provides computing and data services to large international research projects. A good example of this would be research projects involving the use of the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator facilities in Geneva.
European network projects
SURFsara participates in the following international projects relating to network connections:
GLIF (Global Lambda Integrated Facility) is an international alliance dedicated to promoting the use of lambda networks. Lambda networks are especially well-suited to the streaming of high-quality video. SURFnet was among the initiators and participates in a number of workgroups. SURFsara is also a partner in this alliance, and has used the GLIF infrastructure in the course of the CineGrid, OptIPuter and GigaPort projects, among others.
GÉANT is a European collaboration in which the next generation of the European research network GÉANT is being developed. The project is funded in part by grants from the European Union. Today GÉANT connects 40 million users at over 8,000 institutions in 40 countries. The previous project, GÉANT2, focused primarily on the creation of an innovative network infrastructure. The current project, GÉANT3, is geared toward the development of tools and services. SURFsara and SURFnet are both involved in research concerning multi-domain network services. This involvement is made tangible in the Hybrid Network Provisioning en Network Monitoring work packets.