The e-Infrastructure Ecosystem: Providing Local Support to Global Science
2.1 THE WORLDWIDE E-INFRASTRUCTURE LANDSCAPE
Modern science is increasingly dependent on information and communication technologies (ICTs), analyzing huge amounts of data (in the terabyte and petabyte range), running large-scale simulations requiring thousands of CPUs (in the teraflop and petaflop range), and sharing results between different research groups. This collaborative way of doing science has led to the creation of virtual organizations that combine researches and resources (instruments, computing, and data) across traditional administrative and organizational domains (Foster et al., 2001). Advances in networking and distributed computing techniques have enabled the establishment of such virtual organizations, and more and more scientific disciplines are using this concept, which is also referred to as grid computing (Foster and Kesselman, 2003; Lamanna and Laure, 2008). The past years have shown the benefit of basing grid computing on a well-managed infrastructure federating the network, storage, and computing resources across a big number of institutions and making them available to different scientific communities via well-defined protocols and interfaces exposed by a software layer (grid middleware). This kind of federated infrastructure is referred to as e-infrastructure. Europe is playing a leading role ...