2015 was yet another exciting year for DeiC (Danish e-Infrastructure Cooperation). All our national supercomputer centers are now open for business, the work on research data management is off to a good start, and the Danish national research and education network, Forskningsnettet, continues to supply its users with fast and reliable networking services.
In 2015 two national HPC centres (High Performance Computing) were opened: The Abacus 2.0 supercomputer at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and the national cultural heritage cluster at Statsbiblioteket in Aarhus. Abacus 2.0 went into production as a general purpose HPC facility. The cultural heritage cluster was inaugurated in October, but did not go into production in 2015.
Researchers from all Danish universities are invited to use the three national supercomputing centers: Abacus 2.0, Computerome (the DeiC National LifeScience HCP Center), and the cultural heritage cluster.
Researchers are billed for the time they use the facilities, unless their projects are accepted as pilot projects.
Traffic across Forskningsnettet was stable during 2015. Users transmitted more than 52 petabytes of data across the network. No new connections were established, but some were upgraded. One was the connection to the Danish national weather service, DMI. The weather service is upgrading its computer facility and moving supercomputer operations to Iceland.
Moving the data center to Iceland means transporting large amounts of data across the Atlantic every day. Therefore, the lines connecting DMI to Forskningsnettet were upgraded from 1 to 10 Gbit/s. Redundant communication lines were also installed.
Research data management
The National Forum for Research Data Management was established in 2015 with Professor Henrik Pedersen as its chairman. Its purpose is to support research data management initiatives within the university sector and ensure collaboration on a national and international level.
A data management executive change advisory board (CAB) and a technical CAB were also appointed.
The national forum has selected a number of activities. Some were started in 2015, the rest will begin in 2016.
Eduroam users may access wireless networks at all participating institutions nationally and internationally. The number of logins in Denmark grew 49 percent from 2014 to 2015. One reason may be that users now carry more mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
DKCERT (Danish Computer Security Incident Response Team) handled 160,214 security incidents in 2015. This was 145 percent more than in 2014. However, new information sources and the introduction of a new reporting system mean that the numbers should not be compared directly.
DKCERT performed vulnerability scanning of IP addresses assigned to all the Danish universities. The scans found vulnerabilities at 26 percent of the addresses responding. About half of the vulnerabilities were related to web encryption technologies SSL and TLS.
The number of logins utilizing the federated identity infrastructure WAYF (Where Are You From) grew by 64 percent. 108 institutions (identity providers) left WAYF because they were asked to pay for what was previously a service provided for free. WAYF is still included in the price for access to Forskningsnettet.
A group of South African universities are establishing an identity federation. WAYF will train them and provide consultancy services for the project.
DeiC offers two solutions for online meetings and collaboration: Adobe Connect and video conferences based on the H.323 standard. The number of meeting hours using Adobe Connect grew by 27 percent to 177,986 hours.
DeiC has developed integration between Adobe Connect and popular learning management systems such as Moodle and CampusNet.
The usage of H.323 video conferencing grew by eight percent to 15,194 hours.
Data.deic.dk is a storage solution for research data. It has been running in beta test since 2014. In 2015, focus has been on developing the next generation of the service. This includes horizontal scaling, performance monitoring, collaboration with CERN about the Zenodo service, and a metadata app for end users.
DeiC collaborates with AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network), CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), and NeIC (Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration).
DeiC has traditionally acted as an observer and a participant in discussions in international strategic and political forums. In 2015 the first steps toward a more active involvement were taken. DeiC will participate in the Nordic cloud project Glenna, and in the next phase of the PRACE project (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe).
DeiC participates in international research projects together with NORDUnet and GÉANT. Other activities include working with the E-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), the Research Data Alliance (RDA), the European Data Infrastructure (EUDAT), and the PLAtform of National eScience Centers in Europe (PLAN-E).
The eScience Competence Center
The DeiC eScience Competence Center arranged six seminars with a total of 300 participants. Among the subjects covered were data visualization and digital humanities.
In October the National eScience Knowledge Portal opened. It is a web portal for new as well as experienced eScience users. Content includes guides to data processing resources, tools, guidelines, and an event calendar.
Together with the University of Southern Denmark, the competence center is developing a National Supercomputer Challenge. The goal is to let students help companies solve problems using eScience tools and resources.
The DeiC Conference
With 186 participants the DeiC Conference 2015 was the most successful yet. During October 6-7 they met in the city of Middelfart for a conference with a three track program. The keynote speaker was Dr. Maurice Bouwhuis of the Dutch SURFsara. Domenico Vicinanza from GÉANT demonstrated how he created music from data from the CERN Large Hadron Collider experiments.
Download the report
DeiC Annual Report 2015 (PDF format)