Workshop with Norwegian e-infrastructures

Norwegian research institutions presently coordinate parts of their generic e-infrastructure for research and higher education. New investments, upgrades and operations are made mainly through UNINETT AS and its subsidiary UNINETT Sigma2 (hereafter referred to as "Sigma2"), which is responsible for national e-infrastructure services in the field of high performance computing (HPC), research data storage and archiving, advanced user support, along with other related services. Regular user surveys conducted by Sigma2 and estimates for future needs for e-infrastructure services, however, indicate that the need for data storage and computational resources will continue to increase significantly over the years to come. This is due to a steady increase in the amount of data being collected, generated and analysed, the increased regulatory requirements for storage of research data1, and that more publicly funded research in the future will have an increasing need for e-infrastructure and a need for regular renewal of computing and storage facilities.

Based on the above, there is reason to believe that today's funding mechanisms for national e-infrastructure will not be capable to meet the expected needs for investments in, development, operation and use of HPC e-Infrastructure and storage of large amounts of data in Norway by 2030. Based on this, the four oldest universities, in cooperation with the Research Council and UNINETT Sigma2, in the summer of 2018 established a working group to tackle these challenges, with the aim of proposing a sustainable investment and operating model for national e-Infrastructure services that are robust enough to handle future needs for such services. The working group's mandate can be found here.Central to the mandate of the working group is a survey of today's and future e-infrastructure needs and ensure a good grounding among national actors in this area.


Workshop with Norwegian e-infrastructures

As part of this work, the working group gathered the largest providers of national e-infrastructure services for research and higher education for dialogue on e-Infrastructure development. The meeting had several purposes:

  1. To give the working group an understanding and analysis of how different actors look at the sector's future needs for e-infrastructure services
  2. To give the working group detailed knowledge of how different infrastructures coordinate their business with the most important subject-specific e-infrastructures and how they take care of the needs of the largest user environments
  3. To give the workgroup information about the various providers of e-Infrastructure Services, their responsibilities, ongoing restructuring processes in the various businesses, and the possibility of future coordination of e-Infrastructure Services; 4) lay the foundation for a unified strategy for the development of the provision of e-infrastructure services for research and higher education.

The workshop was held on October 16 2018 at the Research Council's offices at Lysaker, Oslo.



10.00-10.15: Welcome and presentation of the working group and its mandate (The working group leader, Kenneth Ruud)
10.15-10.30: National and international developments in e-infrastructure (UNINETT Sigma2; e-IRG, Ulrike Jaekel)

Presentations from selected participating institutions

What is the role of the institution in providing e-infrastructure services today?
How do they coordinate their business with other actors, such as coordination with subject-specific e-infrastructures
How do they look at future needs for e-infrastructure services for research (and management) and their own role in the future landscape?

Are there ongoing restructuring processes in the business? If so, is it coordinated with other e-infrastructures - both generic and subject-specific?

11.30-12.00: Lunch and coffee
 12.00-13.00: Open discussion