According to Bob Jones, Research Accelerator Hub examples are EMBL-EBI that integrates genome datasets and services and integrates with, for instance, Helix Nebula HPC services.
The ReAcH at Bob Jones' CERN will focus on a data-centric service platform on which more sophisticated services can be developed around physics data. It will use the resources installed by CERN at the Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Budapest, Hungary.
Most European distributed computing infrastructures depend heavily on short term project funding. Bob Jones identifies some challenges here. In addition he notes there is a lack of control. Bodies such as EGI.eu and NGIs do not have ownership of the computing sites they co-ordinate. There are also high operational costs as there are a large number of small-scale sites offering identical services. Project funding also means a lack of interoperability and flexibility, as the project structure means users cannot easily combine and swap services.
Long lived ReAcHes that have a mix of long term funding and pay-per-usage services, that own large scale resources are better positioned, said Bob Jones. He proposes to consolidate distributed computing infrastructure sites into a reduced number of ReAcH with sufficient capacity to host a larger and more diverse portfolio of services. Volunteer computing infrastructures should be integrated into the e- infrastructure Commons. Publicly funded computer sites should be integrated with commercial Cloud services providers in a hybrid platform.
Not all distributed computing on a European scale can be done in the new ReAcHes. What should distributed computing infrastructure sites do that do not become a ReAcH?
Volunteer computing structures offer an avenue by which they can continue to contribute but with reduced operational costs, said Bob Jones. The DEGISCO project and International Desktop Grid Federation are instrumental in organising these communities. Volunteer computing should technically be integrated into the overall e-infrastructure Commons. Here, according to Bob Jones, EDGI developed a bridge between volunteer computing and Grids and Clouds. This route also offers a channel for engaging the general public and citizen scientists.
Bob Jones encourages PRACE supercomputer centres to become Research Accelerator Hubs.
The prototype ReAcH and the business models will be tested in 2014.
More information on EIROForum is available at http://www.eiroforum.org/
The e-IRG website can be visited at http://e-irg.eu
The Desktop Grid Federation portal can be accessed at http://desktopgridfederation.org