Training Infrastructure

The training infrastructure on EGI Cloud

The training infrastructure is a resource pool within the EGI Federated Cloud infrascture providing IaaS as well as access services (login, application catalogue and application management portal) for face-to-face events, online training courses or self-paced learning modules.

The training infrastructure is integrated with Check-in allowing trainers to generate short-lived user accounts for training participants. Such accounts can identify students individually, and for a limited lifetime - typically few hours or days, depending on the length of the training event - allow them to interact with the services.

The infrastructure currently includes enough capacity to scale up to class-room size audiences, approximately up to 100 participants.

An introductory slideset and poster of the infrastructure from EGI Community Forum 2015, Bari. (Outdated in some parts).

Usage models

The training infrastructure is suitable for two types of courses:

  • Cloud computing courses: Such courses teach students about IaaS clouds and on how Virtual Appliances, Virtual Machines, block storage and other types of ‘low level’ resources are managed. For such courses, the trainer does not need to deploy applications or online services in advance of the course. The applications/services will be deployed by the students themselves as training exercises. Such courses typically target developers or other rather technical members of scientific communities or projects.
  • Scientific courses: Such courses teach scientists or developers about a specific software suite relevant for their work. For example a specific gene sequence analysis application, an earthquake visualisation tool, or a data processing pipeline. In this operational mode, the trainer deploys the domain specific application/tool on the training infrastructure before the training and the students interact directly with those applications/tools without even knowing where those are deployed and running. Depending on how computationally or data intensive the exercises are, multiple students may share a single software deployment instance, or each student can have their own. The configuration can be controlled by the trainer when the setup is deployed.

In both cases the deployment of applications/tools/services can happen in the form of ‘Virtual Appliances’ (VAs), and block storage - the latter basically behaving like a virtual USB drive that can be attached/detached to VMs to provide data and storage space for applications.

The AppDB has a growing catalogue of Virtual Appliances that includes both basic applications (e.g. latest version of clean Linux distribution) and more specialised applications (e.g. Jupyter Notebook). The list of VAs available on the training infrastructure is configurable and listed in the training.egi.eu VO entry of AppDB.

The VMOps can be used as web interface for both trainers and students to deploy and manage VMs.

Available resources

The available resources are offered by a set of providers included in the training.egi.eu VO Operation Level Agreement (OLA). Check the document for the exact amount of resources and conditions of access for each provider.

The list of providers and VAs is also discoverable in the training.egi.eu VO entry of AppDB. The VO is also described at the EGI Operations Portal training.egi.eu VO id card.

Booking the infrastructure

The infrastructure currently includes enough capacity to scale up to class-room size audiences, approximately up to 100 participants.

Do you want to book the infrastructure for a course? Please send a request through our website.

Last modified October 27, 2020 by Giuseppe La Rocca : Update _index.md (#106)