CHAIN – Coordination and Harmonization of Advanced e-Infrastructures is an FP7 project that was funded by EC and aimed to coordinate and leverage recent efforts and results with a vision of a harmonised and optimised interaction model for e-Infrastructure and specifically Grid interfaces between Europe and the rest of the world. The project will elaborate a strategy and define the instruments in order to ensure coordination and interoperation of the European Grid Infrastructures with other external e-Infrastructures.
The CHAIN consortium, consisting of leading organizations in all the regions addressed by the project, ensured global coverage, European leadership, and most efficient leveraging of results with respect to preceding regional initiatives. First, the project will define a coherent operational and organizational model, where a number of EU countries/regions will possibly act, in collaboration with EGI.eu, as bridges/gateways to other Regions/Continents. Further, the project will validate this model by supporting the extension and consolidation of worldwide virtual communities, which increasingly require distributed facilities (large instruments, distributed data and databases, digital repositories, etc.) across the regions for trans-continental research. Finally, the project will act as a worldwide policy-watch and coordination instrument, by exploring and proposing concrete steps for the coordination with other initiatives and studying the evolution of e-Infrastructures.
Implementation of CHAIN project focused on three main areas:
1. Define a strategy and a model for external collaboration, in close collaboration with EGI.org, which will enable operational and organisational interfacing of EGI and external e-Infrastructures. This strategy will take into account current organizational models, while, regarding operational models, a peering model will be defined between Europe and other continents. Regarding some external e-Infrastructures the European partners could also act as "tutors" or "advisors" using the European background and supporting interoperable/standard solutions. This sub-objective aims to ensure the continuity of actions taken so far via separate regional projects, and avoid a disruption of the services that have been developed and deployed until now.
2. Validate this model, as a proof-of-principle, by supporting the extension and consolidation of worldwide Virtual Research Communities, which work on common areas (Bioinformatics, Chemistry, etc.) and /or increasingly require distributed facilities (e.g. large instruments, distributed data and databases, digital repositories, etc.) across the regions for trans-continental research. Examples of these communities are LHC, Radio Telescopes, Earth Sciences, Health, Emerging Diseases, etc. – all of these requiring the linking of the European researchers with the corresponding communities in multiple regions across the world. The support for the users of such existing communities will be complemented by a coordinated activity of support for the international expansion to other prospective communities that have not exploited yet the full benefits of large intercontinental e-Infrastructures.
3. Explore and propose concrete steps forward towards the coordination with other projects and initiatives (e.g. EGI.eu, EUMEDGRID-Support, EUIndiaGrid2, LinkSCEEM, PRACE, National Knowledge Network, etc.).The project will act as a worldwide policy-watch and coordination instrument, by exploring and proposing concrete steps for the coordination with other initiatives and studying the evolution of e-Infrastructures towards not only Grids and HPC but also Cloud Computing, Virtualisation, Voluntary Computing and other trends that may emerge. This interaction with other Infrastructures will also imply a strong commitment to standards' adoption.
The project officially started on 1st December 2010, and ended on 30th November 2012.