The ideas behind the European Grid Infrastructure emerged from within the community in late 2006. EGI.eu was established as Dutch Stichting (foundation) on 8 February 2010 to support the collaborative use of distributed computing resources by European end-users and their international collaborators. In practice, EGI.eu coordinates the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) on behalf of its participants, the National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (EIROs). This coordination work started on 1 May 2010.
EGI.eu’s role is to coordinate the resources distributed across Europe to deliver an integrated and secure e-Infrastructure for the benefit of its multi-disciplinary users, and represent the EGI federation in the wider distributed computing community. EGI.eu coordinates the ‘EGI Global Services’ (which include human, infrastructure and technical services) within the community for the use of the whole community. Human services refer to the coordination and support work needed at a European level to integrate the different aspects of the community. Infrastructure services provide integration to the production infrastructure, which represents the resources offered to our user community to support their research activities. Finally, the technical services are crucial to help the distributed community to work more effectively together.
These services are currently supported by the participants in EGI.eu through the fees they pay, direct support from the partners who host these services, and the European Commission through the EGI-InSPIRE project. The ultimate goal of EGI-InSPIRE is to provide European scientists and their international partners with a sustainable, reliable e-Infrastructure that can support their needs for large-scale data analysis. This is essential in order to solve the big questions facing science today, and in the decades to come. EGI-InSPIRE will coordinate the transition from a project-based system (the EGEE series) to a sustainable pan-European e-Infrastructure. The four-year project will support grids of high-performance computing (HPC) and high-throughput computing (HTC) resources.