Open Hybrid Cloud for Science at CHEP 2018

The Helix Nebula Science Cloud opened the 23rd International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics (CHEP 2018). The conference is taking place on 9-13 July at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria.

During CHEP 2018, more than 600 high energy and nuclear physics professionals are addressing current trends and challenges in data‐intensive experimental and computational science. The conference opened with a plenary session on the HNSCiCloud, the first hybrid cloud for the European scientific community.

Backed by 10 leading European research organizations, including CERN and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, HNSCiCloud aims to make the sharing of scientific findings and research in the scientific community easier.

Alastair Pidgeon, RHEA Group Director, Business Development Projects and Products, presented the HNSciCloud multi-cloud approach provided by the RHEA Group-led consortium during the CHEP 2018 plenary session.

“Our solution enables the science community to access large-scale commercial cloud resources from multiple providers securely and transparently,” said Pidgeon during the plenary session.

CHEP 2018

The RHEA Group-led consortium includes cloud software provider SixSq, leading cloud providers T-Systems, Exoscale, and data management provider Cyfronet. Together, the four companies are building an end-to-end multi-cloud platform addressing the challenging needs of the European scientific community.

One of the main features of the multi-cloud platform presented today is its flexibility. Thanks to SixSq’s Nuvla brokering system, users can choose which cloud to use based on the price, performance, location, or virtually any other factor.

“The Nuvla service is completely neutral with respect to cloud providers. By using Nuvla, users can deploy their virtual machines and containers to any supported cloud. Users may have their own orchestration tools and can optionally deploy directly to the clouds of their choice by using their native Application Programming Interfaces (APIs),” explained Pidgeon.

Nuvla allows users to authenticate with their academic on-line credentials to manage compute resources and to access local and cloud-based data locally. Users can deploy virtual machines and/or containers to multiple clouds, and monitor their usage and cloud performance.

“In the future, almost any other public/commercial cloud could be integrated provided it is connected to GÉANT and meets the minimum performance and reliability requirements,” he added.

The platform also supports the eduGAIN and Elixir AAI (SAML 2.0) identity federations, allowing users to access cloud resources via a web browser, API or Command Line Interface (CLI).

To facilitate the data exchange across multiple clouds and local infrastructures, the consortium is using Cyfronet’s OneData. The platform is a high-performance data management solution that offers unified data access across globally distributed environments.

“Together, Nuvla and Onedata support the diverse scientific with three European commercial clouds - Open Telekom, Exoscale and Advania – that provide secure, high-performance cloud resources, including High-Performance Computing as a service and access to graphical orocessing units,” he concluded.

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