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SlipStream – a new web interface for the EGI Federated Cloud

The EGI Technical Forum 2013 took place in Madrid, Spain, from 16-20 September.

SlipStream is a web interface that allows users to configure multiple cloud services and set up custom deployments of multiple virtual machines. A demonstration at last week's European Grid Infrastructure (EGI)Technical Forum in Madrid, Spain, showed how scientists can access EGI's Federated Cloud resources using SlipStream, just as they can access commercial cloud providers.

The SlipStream software was developed by SixSq and has been tested by the Helix Nebula project as a technology solution to broker between the user and the different clouds on offer, both commercial and academic.

The proof-of-concept from the European Space Agency (ESA), previously run on Helix Nebula's commercial providers, was repeated using EGI's Federated Cloud academic resources. The results of the successful experiment were demonstrated live by Salvatore Pinto, EGI.eu's cloud technologist, at the Technical Forum.

"The demo showed how you can easily start a complex deployment on EGI Federated Cloud resources using the SlipStream web interface," Pinto says. "I used a real use case and, as an example, I repeated the work performed by the European Space Agency during their proof of concept on EGI's Federated Cloud."

In the demonstration, Pinto deployed a computing cluster based on the Globus grid middleware. Starting from a basic OS image, he was able to connect it to ESA's grid. He also demonstrated how to submit processing jobs to it using the on-demand ESA grid-processing service.

Using SlipStream, users will be able to "see all FedCloud resources under the same hood, allowing them to provision reliably across them all, improving resource sharing and utilisation," adds Marc-Elian Bégin, lead developer of SlipStream and co-founder of SixSq.

"The demonstration shows how academic and commercial cloud resources can be successfully run alongside each other," says Steven Newhouse, director of EGI.eu. "This is also an example of how the EGI community promotes innovation by partnering up with commercial technology providers such as SixSq."

A longer version of this article was originally published on the EGI.eu website, here.

- Sara Coelho

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