The Glenna2 project is ending
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 the soon to be completed projects is Glenna2, which will be ending at the end of March 2020. This article allows us to look back at what’s been done and outline Glenna’s significance to and in the Nordics. The text is written in collaboration with Glenna’s project leader, Dan Still.
What is Glenna?
Glenna is an Icelandic name and means “opening in the clouds”. The name is very fitting for NeIC’s Glenna project: the goal of Glenna is to share knowledge and set best practices on managing cloud services. Another target has been to create a Nordic federated cloud service driven by the need of the Nordic researchers.
The project aims to provide added value to the Nordic national cloud and data intensive computing initiatives by
- supporting national cloud initiatives to sustain affordable IaaS cloud resources through financial support, knowledge exchange and pooling competency on cloud operations,
- using such national resources to establish an internationally leading collaboration on data intensive computing in collaboration with user communities,
- leveraging the pooled competency to take responsibility for assessing future hybrid cloud technology and communicate that to the national initiatives and
- supporting use of resources by pooling national cloud application expert support and create a Nordic support channel for cloud and big data.
The mandate of Glenna2 has been to sustain a coordinated training and dissemination effort, creating training material and providing application level support to cloud users in all countries. The project has had participants from all the Nordic countries: SNIC from Sweden, Sigma2 from Norway, CSC from Finland, and, in the beginning, DeIC from Denmark as well as the University of Iceland. Kick-off for the initial project, Glenna1, was in November 2014 and for Glenna2 in 2017. Both kick offs were held in Sweden.
The external Glenna2 wiki page shows that over the three years the project has been active, it has achieved a lot. The results section provides a comprehensive list of the project achievements. The ones especially worth highlighting are the 4 articles published, 13 deliverables produced and the federated Glenna cloud environment provided.
Did the project fulfil the goals set for it? According to Dan Still, the answer is yes. In addition to meeting its goals, it also had an affect on some additional items such as AI and Machine Learning as well as collaboration on a use case together with the Meteorological offices (MetNo, SMHI and FMI) in the Nordics – which afterwards became the iOBS project.
Resource sharing in the future remains to be seen. The technical ability exists but the business model doesn’t. In regards to the future, the iOBS project will continue, and the same potentially goes for an AI focused effort. At the moment, there are no plans for a purely cloud-centered project.