The ELIXIR Compute Platform was established in 2015 to build and integrate cloud, compute, storage and access services for the life-science research community.
Today, thousands of science laboratories across the world generate massive amounts of data that they make available to collaborators directly or place in public archives for open access. In this situation, the traditional method of a researcher downloading and analysing data locally is no longer viable due to both the data size and scope of the analysis activities.
The data needs to be managed as a federation, where data providers work as a single infrastructure providing mechanisms where researchers can bring their analysis to where the data is located. The ELIXIR Compute Platform infrastructure will allow life scientists to easily access, share and analyse data from different sources across Europe.
The objective is to combine all components of the ELIXIR Compute services into a seamless workflow. A researcher may use the ELIXIR Authorisation and Authentication services to securely create a scientific software analysis environment, and use the environment to access large biological data resources stored in a cloud.
Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI)
- Provides a user access and identity management service for academia and industry.
- Allows users to consolidate their different online identities (university ID, Google ID, ORCID ID) into one identity.
- For accessing sensitive data, it provides REMS (Resource Entitlement Management System), an electronic tool where a researcher needs to apply for approval by the resource provider.
- To start using the service, see the AAI web page or email aai-contact[at]elixir-europe[dot]org.
What the platform does
- Develops services in three areas: authentication and authorisation, storage and data transfer, and cloud and computing resources (see below).
- Gathers requirements from the ELIXIR community and passes them to existing services provided by the ELIXIR Nodes and their partners, and by the European e-Infrastructures (i.e. EGI, EUDAT, GÉANT, EOSC, Helix Nebula Science Cloud). This ensures the services are relevant to ELIXIR community.
- Integrates Compute Platform services into the e-Infrastructure services, so the Platform services are available to the European e-Infrastructure community.
- Combines ELIXIR Compute services into a seamless workflow using the ELIXIR Authorisation and Authentication Infrastructure (AAI). This enables you to access all services with just one sign-in.
- Works with ELIXIR Communities to ensure the Platform's services fit the needs of specific life science domains.
Authentication & Authorisation Infrastructure (AAI)
Goal: To provide a centralised user identity and access management service.
Leaders: Mikael Linden (ELIXIR Finland), Michal Procházka (ELIXIR Czech Republic)
Partners: Paul van Dijk (AARC), Ramon Bastiaans (SURFsara)
- Extending the functionality of the AAI e.g. to provide new attributes that can be consumed by relying services. See the AAI Production Implementation Study and view the related webinar.
- Extending the number relying services that use the AAI. Current relying services include the ELIXIR Marine Metagenomics and Human Data Communities as well as EGI (EGI Checkin) and EUDAT (B2ACCESS). They also include commercial services. See the list of relying services.
- Working with the AARC2 project to collaborate with and integrate with other infrastructure AAI services.
- With the CORBEL and AARC2 projects, planning a Life Science AAI, a common AAI for Life Science research infrastructures.
Storage and data transfer
Goal: To provide an easy way to move, store and synchronise large datasets across ELIXIR and other e-Infrastructures.
Leaders: Mikael Borg (ELIXIR Sweden), Steven Newhouse (EMBL-EBI), Christine Staiger (ELIXIR Netherlands)
Partners: Arcadi Navarro (ELIXIR Spain), Angel Carreno (ELIXIR Spain), David Antos (ELIXIR Czech Republic), Olivier Collin (ELIXIR France), Harri Salminen (ELIXIR Finland)
- Deploying GridFTP servers across ELIXIR Nodes to create a file transfer infrastructure.
- Providing user-friendly portals such as Globus Transfer and File Transfer Service (FTS3), to make it easy to use this infrastructure to transfer data.
- Developing a Reference Data Set Distribution Service, in collaboration with EUDAT2020. This will allow ELIXIR Core Data Resources and other datasets to be replicated between ELIXIR Nodes, so the data is easier to access.
- Building a catalogue of the available reference data sets. You can search this to find what datasets replicas are accessible to you, and where they are hosted.
- Collaborating with EUDAT2020 to explore how to integrate the ELIXIR AAI with B2ACCESS, so you can use your ELIXIR ID to access EUDAT services.
- Starting an Implementation Study (6 months) on 'DataMovement: ELIXIR Proof of concept study on the availability of big datasets on remote compute infrastructure'.
Cloud and computing resources
Goal: To integrate cloud and compute services across Europe so they can be used in a seamless workflow.
Leaders: Christophe Blanchet (ELIXIR France), Mirek Ruda (ELIXIR Czech Republic)
Partners: Irene Nooren (SURFsara), Anatoli Danezi (SURFsara), Maarten Kooyman (SURFsara), Rob Hooft (ELIXIR Netherlands), Jarno Laitinen (ELIXIR FINLAND)
- Integrating the ELIXIR AAI with EGI services. For example, it will give ELIXIR researchers access to EGI's cloud services via the AAI, which ensures the cloud resources are only accessible to those with the right credentials (institution, ELIXIR group).
- Working with national and European compute service providers to make their services available to all ELIXIR users. Some of the services, for example, are currently only available to national institutes, or are only funded for a particular range of activities.
- Working on a one-year Implementation Study: 'Using clouds and VMs for bioinformatics training (Workshop as a Service)'.
Infrastructure services registry
Goal: To create a registry of ELIXIR infrastructure services, with metadata like who can access the service and how much capacity it has.
Leaders: Steven Newhouse (EMBL-EBI), Ludek Matyska (ELIXIR Czech Republic)
The Compute Platform is involved in a number of short-term, technical projects called Implementation Studies. These are currently:
- Container Orchestration
- Data Integration for Compute
- Deploying Reproducible Containers and Workflows Across Cloud Environments
- ELIXIR Hybrid Cloud
- Identity and Access Management
- Reuse, extension, scaling of scientific workflows
- Architecture for Software Containers
- Annotation and curation of human genomic variations
- A Scalable approach to Personal FAIR Data
For completed studies see the Implementation Studies page.
Find out more
- Contact: if you'd like to know more about the Platform's work please email:
- Learn about the Platform goals in the publication: The ELIXIR Compute Platform: A Technical Services Roadmap for Life Science Research in Europe (pdf).
- View the list of Compute services offered by ELIXIR Nodes.