Dr. Tsaregorodtsev presented DIRAC (Distributed Infrastructure with Remote Agent Control)- a service which provides an efficient access to various distributed computing and storage resources for users organized in Virtual Research Communities. What makes DIRAC different with respect to other existing grid or cloud systems is that it allows to aggregate in a transparent way resources from different infrastructures using different middleware and managed within different administrative hierarchies. It combines services for managing both user workloads and data as well as high level operations like data driven workflows.
DIRAC has a number of friendly user interfaces including a comprehensive Web Portal to submit and monitor user tasks as well as to retrieve the results. All the user operations are executed by means of secure protocols compliant with the grid security standards. DIRAC is providing an open framework which allows to easily add new services specific for particular user communities. A number of such DIRAC extensions exists already ( LHCb, Belle II, ILC, BES III High Energy Physics experiments as well as Virtual Organizations: astro, biomed, esr ). The extensions are usually dealing with specific workflows as well as specific application web portals. The project is actively developed now in order to bring new functionalities required by the users.
DIRAC was originally developed for a large High Energy Physics experiment and was later upgraded to provide a general purpose middleware. DIRAC services are used now by multiple user communities having access to EGI and other computing resources such as independent computing clusters, clouds or desktop grids. In particular, the France-Grilles NGI Project is now operating a fully featured DIRAC service for multiple user Virtual Organizations in France and in the world. Similar service has been also set up for the IberGrid NGI ( Spain and Portugal ). Other DIRAC national services are under construction as well. The positive experience with operating regional and national DIRAC services makes us think that such service can be useful for the users of the EGI infrastructure as a whole.
About the Speaker: Andrei Tsaregorodtsev graduated from the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute as experimental nuclear physics engineer and obtained PhD from the Saint-Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute. Since 1991 he worked at CERN in the L3 and then in the LHCb Collaborations. Since 1999 he joined the Centre de Physique des Particules de Marseille as a Senior Research Engineer.
Dr. Tsaregorodtsev participated in the grid systems development and tests since 2000 when the DataGrid project started. Since 2002 he led the LHCb Grid Task Force and initiated the DIRAC Project as the basis of the LHCb Distributed Computing System. Up to now Dr. Tsaregorodtsev stays the coordinator of the DIRAC Project.