The Dellingr project is ending
The year 2019 has come to its end. As we’re leaving 2019 and the whole decade behind, we’re also saying goodbye to a few NeIC projects that are expiring. One of these soon to be completed projects is Dellingr. This article allows us to look back at what’s been done and outline Dellingr’s significance to and in the Nordics. This article allows us to look back at what’s been done and outline Dellingr’s significance to and in the Nordics. The text is written in collaboration with Dellingr’s project leader, John White.
What is Dellingr?
In Norse mythology, the name Dellingr refers to a god who, assumingly, is the personified dawn (read more on Wikipedia). The Dellingr project, however, was launched in 2017 to explore and test whether high-performance computing resources can be shared and exchanged between countries and across borders.
Initially, the project idea was postulated by the NeIC board. Phase 1 of the Dellingr project took place during the first two quarters of 2017 to establish whether countries would be interested in sharing e-infrastructure (computing, storage and support) resources. Based on the positive outcome from Phase 1, Phase 2 followed. It was decided that the project would be in execution from the third quarter of 2017 to the first of 2020.
During the Dellingr project, two pilot projects have been run in order to test resource-sharing methods and policies by offering e-infrastructure resources to researchers free of charge. The first Dellingr pilot was initiated in July 2017 and placed users on shared high performance computing resources within the participating countries using a simple web form. A report about the usage statistics in the first pilot project can be accessed here. The second pilot, accessed through an online framework, is currently running and can be accessed at https://share.neic.no. This framework can also be used to register other new services, and they can be verified for compliance with the EOSC Service Description Template.
Documents from both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project have been uploaded to the public Dellingr wiki page. Apart from the documents mentioned above, there are publications that acknowledge the provision of e-infrastructure resources by the first Dellingr pilot. These documents have been gathered here.
According to John White, the Dellingr project has so far fulfilled the goals set for it. Whether resource sharing on a semi-permanent basis will be set up is to be seen. The fundamental political and legal issues have been studied and practical implementations have been deployed on a temporary basis whereas the long-term deployment still has to be solved. National ministries are bound legally to fund national researchers with some proportion of cross-border work. The difficult subject of the VAT issues has been consulted on by external expert opinions and the legal expertise within the national e-infrastructure providers. The observation is that this issue can never really be understood until challenged in a court.
Dellingr advises that other projects planning to share resources, such as EOSC-Nordic or LUMI, should use the Dellingr documents as a basis. The Dellingr project is linked to the Puhuri proposal to the NeIC open call.