EGEE leaves a lasting legacy for the future

With the LHC running smoothly since March this year, the World LHC Computing Grid, WLCG, is proving itself well up to the task of serving the particle physics community. It has also played an increasingly important role in other areas of science through the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project, EGEE-III.


The final EGEE user forum held in Uppsala, Sweden in April 2010. It marked the end of the EGEE series of projects and the beginning of EGI.

EGEE has been the primary grid infrastructure supporting WLCG (along with OSG and Nordugrid) and has nurtured innovative, world-class research across Europe and around the globe. EGEE-III brought together a computing infrastructure, software tools and services to support more than 10,000 scientific researchers across more than 170 research communities.
Grids bring together computing and storage resources located in, owned and operated by different organisations located around the world. Connecting securely through the GÉANT internet network, grids share computer power and data storage capacity, creating an interwoven resource for the large-scale, compute and data intensive grand challenges facing us today – such as climate change, health and sustainable energy.
EGEE’s achievements grew from the pioneering European DataGrid project, which started in 2001 and developed continuously through the three successive project phases of EGEE. By the close of EGEE-III in April this year, the project had created the largest collaborative production grid infrastructure in the world, including 250,000 computer processing cores, collaboratively hosted by more than 300 centres, running around 15 million computer tasks every month.
Using EGEE, scientists have been able to do more intensive work on a larger scale, and get results in a shorter time than would otherwise have been possible. EGEE has also fostered collaborations within Europe and worldwide, allowing Europe to stand out on the world stage. These collaborations will last for years to come and are now being developed within the new European Grid Infrastructure, EGI, which brings together National Grid Infrastructures under the coordination of a new organisation, The European Commission is providing initial co-funding for EGI through the four year EGI-InSPIRE project, which started on 1 May 2010, coordinated by
"Distributed Computing Infrastructures have matured at an incredible rate and EGEE has been a driving force in making this happen,” says Bob Jones, EGEE Project Director. “In 2000 I think it would have been a brave call to say that Europe would have a sustainable production grid infrastructure built on a federation of national grid infrastructures in place by 2010. We are glad to see EGI embody the results of a decade of work and I am certain it has a bright future in contributing to the European Research Area and serving the ESFRI projects."
“EGEE has been a guiding light for a number of projects,” adds Enric Mitjana, EC Project Officer for EGEE. “The structuring effect EGEE has had on the e-Infrastructure landscape in Europe and beyond is much appreciated by the Commission.”

“The establishment of represents a new phase for the European Grid Infrastructure,” says Steven Newhouse, Director. “Sustainability is key for supporting the next generation of data intensive science projects. EGI, through its foundation on strong National Grid Infrastructures, will provide the coordination necessary for a secure, reliable and integrated infrastructure in Europe.”
As the EGEE project closes, and the EGI-InSPIRE project gets underway, the infrastructure and knowledge EGEE has created stands to leave a lasting legacy for the European Research Area and the world of e-science.

by Catherine Gater and Bob Jones