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Science gateways have proven over the last years to be fertile ground for e-Infrastructure research while at the same time substantially increasing the usage and accessibility of Distributed Computing Infrastructures all around the world to scientists and educators.
By its most used definition a Science Gateway is “a community-developed set of tools, applications, and data that are integrated via a portal or a suite of applications, usually in a graphical user interface, that is further customized to meet the needs of a specific community” (www.xsede.org/gateways-overview). Science Gateways may provide access to a variety of capabilities including workflows, visualization, resource discovery, job execution and data management services.
A brief description of the state of the art of Science Gateways in Europe and elsewhere is contained in the CHAIN-REDS deliverable "D5.2 - Science Gateways - Technology survey". D5.2 provides a report on what has been done by CHAIN-REDS to spread the adoption of the science gateway paradigm in the various regions addressed by the project.
CHAIN-REDS is indeed committed to foster the adoption of the Science Gateway paradigm in all the regions addressed by the project since they represent invaluable platforms to: (i) seamlessly access various e-Infrastructures in a way that is transparent for end users and (ii) support the so-called long tail of science (i.e. the small groups or even single researchers that do not belong to the large VRCs).
In order to demonstrate the power of Science Gateways in real cases and for real applications during workshops and other kind of events and in the framework of collaborations with some VRC-specific projects, CHAIN-REDS has adopted the Catania Science Gateway Framework (CSGF). Besides “in house” experience (the CSGF is developed at INFN Catania), another important reason for the choice was the large number of standards supported by the CSGF:
3. The Lightweight Direct Access Protocol (LDAP), and its OpenLDAP implementation for user authorisation;
4. The Cryptographic Token Interface Standard (PKCS#11) standard and its Cryptoki implementation for X.509 robot certificate management;
In particular, the support of the SAML standard allows Science Gateways built with the CSGF to be configured as Service Providers of Identity Federations in order to extend their potential user base to all individuals enrolled in Identity Providers, owning federated credentials. Since CHAIN-REDS is also committed to foster the deployment of Identity Federations in the regions addressed by the project, it was straightforward to choose a science gateway framework able to build services that could have acted as “triggers” for the establishment of IdFs.
Furthermore, the support for SAGA and OCCI standards allows to demonstrate DCI interoperability at application level irrespective of their architecture (local clusters, Grids, clouds, etc.).
- You are interested in deploying a Science Gateway in your country, organisation or virtual research community,have a look at the dedicated guidelines and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You are interested in browsing one of the Science Gateways promoted by the CHAIN-REDS project, click on one ofthe countries highlighted either in red (already existing Science Gateways) or in yellow (Science Gateways deployed thanks to CHAIN-REDS activities) in the interactive map included at the top.