Financial Study for Sustainable Computing e-Infrastructures

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2nd e-FISCAL workshop


The second e-FISCAL workshop was held on 3rd and 4th of July 2012 at the Dosryssa seaside resort in Samos, Greece. The event was co-located with the Samos Summit on Open Data and Interoperability.

The goal of the workshop and its follow-up activities is to bring in financial experts from the e-Infrastructure community and establish foundations for a crucial community of practice that can make important contributions to the overall sustainability planning of the e-Infrastructures in the Horizon 2020 era and beyond.

Detailed agenda of the e-FISCAL Summer Workshop

The agenda below contains links to the presentations in the pdf format. All presentations are also available as a single zip file.

Tuesday afternoon – State-of-play of ICT cost assessment (14:00-16:00)

  1. Introducing the e-FISCAL project, Fotis Karayannis, e-FISCAL project coordinator, Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), Greece – 20’
  2. State-of-the-art and e-FISCAL survey, Sandra Cohen, AUEB and Matti Heikkurinen, Emergence Tech Limited, UK, 20’
  3. Benchmarking HPC vs. Cloud: An empirical evaluation of the performance and cost metrics, Kashif Iqbal and Eoin Brazil, Irish Center for High End Computing, National University Galway, Ireland, 20’
  4. The European Grid Infrastructure, High Throughput Computing cost aspects and sustainability perspectives, Per Oster, CSC-IT Centre for Science Ltd, Finland, 20’
  5. The PRACE High Performance Computing infrastructure, Cost aspects and sustainability perspectives, Annaïg Leguen, GENCI, France, 20’
  6. Discussion, 20'

Coffee break: 16:00-16:30

Tuesday afternoon – Case studies (16:30-18:30)

  1. Panel - Case studies on HPC/HTC centers costs, Panel Chair, Fotis Karayannis:
    1. A Realistic Study Of Costs Associated To Datacenter Installation And Operation, Jesus Marco, Instituto de Física de Cantabria (IFCA), a joint center CSIC-Universidad de Cantabria, Spain, 20’
    2. Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, A Case Study, Radek Januszewski, PSNC, Poland, 20’
    3. LIFEWATCH, the user perspective, Jacco Konijn, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (presented by Fotis Karagiannis), 20’
    4. GRNET Cloud Center economics - Green IT case studies, Tasos Zafeiropoulos, Greek Research and Technology Network, Greece, 20’
    5. Free University of Brussels, A case study, Rosette Vandenbroucke, VUB, Belgium, 20’
    6. Discussion, 15’
  2. Panel summary Matti Heikkurinen, 5’
  3. Closing of the 1st workshop day, logistics of the Social Dinner

Social Dinner: 20:00-22:30

                         (as part of Samos Summit arrangement – Transportation from/back to the hotel)

Wednesday morning – e-Infrastructure for research and science: Owned, leased or hybrid approach? (09:30-11:00)

  1. Keynotes:
    1. Financing ICT support for research in Horizon 2020 – Cristina Martinez, European Commission, 30’
    2. An analyst perspective on cloud and e-Infrastructure, John Barr, 451 Research -451 Group, 30’
    3. Building European consensus on sustainability, Dana Petcu, Computer Science Department, West University of Timisoara, Romania, 30’

Coffee break: 11:00-11:30

Wednesday morning – e-Infrastructure for research and science: owned, leased or hybrid approaches? (11:30-13:00)

  1. Panel: Views from Research and Industry, Panel Chair: Matti Heikkurinen, ETL
  1. John Barr- Industry views/451 Research (451 Group)
  2. Annaïg Leguen/PRACE, 5’
  3. Jesus Marco, CSIC. 5' (presented on the previous day)
  4. Per Oster, EGI, 5’
  5. Dana Petcu, e-IRG, 5’
  6. Rosette Vandenbroucke, VUB, 5’
  7. Fotis Karayannis/Sandra Cohen, AUEB/e-FISCAL, 5’
  1. Panel discussion and conclusions. (and a workshop conclusions presented in the Samos Summit closing session).  45'  (SIENA Legacy)

Lunch break: 13:00-14:30

Samos Summit closing: 14:30-16:00


Background: Workshop Objectives in detail

The concrete objective of the workshop was to discuss the preliminary findings of the e-FISCAL project. These findings were based on data received from EGI and PRACE country coordinators and center managers around Europe by the time of the workshop. In addition, a survey of the state of the art in financial analysis of ICT infrastructures was presented, as well as some initial results of the benchmarking efforts of the project that compare commercial cloud offerings with research e-Infrastructures. The project also gathered feedback from the participants and the project Advisory Board, as well as disseminated the results in the wider public.  The workshop benefit also from being co-located with the Samos Summit event series, where a mixed audience of e-Infrastructure practitioners, users and policy makers was available.

The concrete sub-objectives of the workshop are given below:

  • Present the initial findings of the project
    1. State of the art on costs of e-Infrastructures for research and comparing them with commercial cloud offerings
    2. Surveying European HPC/HTC centers in Europe; first analysis
    3. Benchmarking: comparing the performance of research e-Infrastructure HTC/HPC sites with commercial cloud ones
  • Get feedback from workshop participants and the e-FISCAL project Advisory Board
  • Disseminate project results in the wider public (government, end-users and research community)

An equally important higher level goal of the workshop is gathering together financial experts from the e-Infrastructure community and establish foundations for a crucial community of practice that can make important contributions to the overall sustainability planning of the e-Infrastructures in the Horizon 2020 era and beyond.