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New release of EGI's first unified middleware distribution

Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. A member of the public uses a hammer and chisel to start the collapse of the wall.
When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it established reunification between East and West Germany. EGI's UMD represents the first sustainable bridge between the various middlewares' on the grid and should enable scientists to have a more consistent experience. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) has released the first version of its unified software products. Officially called the Unified Middleware Distribution, UMD 1.0.0, it brings together the various middlewares that scientists use when accessing grid computing across Europe. It will contain only the most critical products from EGI's technology providers.

Every research community using EGI has different goals and requirements for their computing and data needs. Many have developed and maintained their own solutions. The goal of the UMD is to provide a system that the community's existing solutions can easily plug in to, not replace, so that these solutions can be deployed at scale across Europe. Now, researchers will have a consistent platform that offers a set of integrated, stable and general-purpose software components.Michel Drescher, EGI's technical manager, has been leading the work. "Just getting this far has been a mammoth task. We have consulted a huge range of stakeholders, reviewed every software package on the grid and come up with what we believe provides the best support structure. However, this is only a first step. We will learn a lot from this initial deployment to improve future releases," he said.

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