ELIXIR Hybrid Cloud

This study aims to coordinate technical, operational and funding aspects of cloud, data and compute services across Europe for the ELIXIR and larger Life Science community within a seamless hybrid cloud ecosystem. It will implement a hybrid cloud ecosystem interoperable with key resources that is accessible to researchers spanning:

  • Local, private clouds (e.g. EMBL-EBI Embassy)
  • National community clouds (e.g. cPouta, MetaCentrum cloud, de.NBI)
  • European research and innovation oriented clouds (e.g. EOSC)
  • Public/commercial compliant clouds (e.g. Google, Azure, AWS)

e-Infrastructures are becoming more flexible via virtualisation. This allows contemporary biological research projects with large processing and storage requirements to leverage their capacities. The technical challenges of large scale cloud development for research will be addressed within the EOSC umbrella, whereas the ELIXIR Compute Platform, while already involved, will be a participant only.

However, there are non-technical challenges of the cloud infrastructure that should be the primary focus of ELIXIR Compute Platform – what is actually needed by the ELIXIR community, how cloud provisioning, the resource access (and allocation) should be organised, who will provide the cloud resources and how the providers should be reimbursed/sustained. The acute problem of cloud resource allocation will be investigated, including the proposal to establish a Resource Allocation Committee (RAC) in the case of commissioned central ELIXIR resources within EOSC-Life.

This task, following current and future technology constraints, will organise ELIXIR cloud experts and focus them around the problem of defining the ELIXIR hybrid cloud ecosystem and how it should be coordinated. Initially concerned with ELIXIR’s own requirements, the task will gradually expand to cover the larger Life Science community, similar to the transition of ELIXIR AAI to LS AAI).

The task will also work on piloting the proposed approaches, as a part of the EOSC Life program in collaboration with the EOSC Hub and similar future projects; and as a standalone ELIXIR activity, using resources and resource providers of individual ELIXIR Nodes.

WP3.1: Definition and evolution of ELIXIR hybrid cloud ecosystem

Lead: Miroslav Ruda (ELIXIR CZ)

This task will determine and establish the strategic principles and sustainability for the ELIXIR hybrid cloud ecosystem, including resourcing, service levels and sustainability.

Pilot development will focus on:

  • Shifting from resource control to resource orchestration
  • Focussing on enabling user interactions (user needs)
  • Shifting to greater openness
  • Development of accretive strategies to engage producers and consumers within the platform ecosystem
  • Development of user-centric and ecosystem-centric metrics

The proposal must deal with the different funding strategies while implementing the EOSC governance work on cloud provisioning. In the second iteration, the specific requirements of work with sensitive data must be also included i.e. enhanced information governance, higher cost base, specific technologies deployed etc.

WP3.2: Piloting the proposal

Lead: Chris Lawerenz (DE)

This task will run several user-centric and inter-platform pilots using the resources provided by the involved ELIXIR Nodes and also by external EOSC-related resources if provided. The pilots will demonstrate the usability of the proposal to setup the cloud ecosystem for ELIXIR (using the hybrid cloud environment to support (semi)production operation of use cases that are defined in the other parts of the work program). Feedback from these pilots will be used to improve the ELIXIR hybrid cloud ecosystem definition. The selected pilots will serve each year as a Technical demonstrator of the feasibility of the proposed ELIXIR/LS Hybrid cloud ecosystem (resp. Its gradual evolution).