The mission of the XSEDE Cyberinfrastructure Integration (XCI) team is to integrate, adapt, and disseminate software tools and related services across the national CI community enabling the US research community to do its work better and more easily than before – making it easier for administrators and users of campus-based cyberinfrastructure systems to make use of tools created by XSEDE for local benefit, and expand upon XSEDE's effort to enable the creation of an integrated national cyberinfrastructure.
It is through the activities of XCI that XSEDE integrates Service Providers that have a formal relationship with XSEDE and distributes software that creates and maintains a US national cyberinfrastructure that is interoperable and as easy as possible to use from the standpoint of the practicing scientist.
XCI consists of two units:
- Cyberinfrastructure Resource Integration (CRI) and
- Requirements Analysis and Capability Delivery (RACD)
There are three types of services provided by XCI:
Support campus CI resource operators. The main focus of this component of XCI activities is to make life easier for local CI system administrators and enable them to leverage work done by XSEDE. The most critical and most widely usable suite of tools are the now hundreds of software packages made available to the US research community through the Research Software Portal. Campus CI administrators can manually or through subscription automatically install open source software useful to researchers and students working in a wide range of disciplines. And installing locally software that is also used on XSEDE systems means that XSEDE-created documentation and instructional materials may easily be adapted for local use. As a byproduct of making it easier to administer local CI resouces, XCI also facilitates the creation of an interoperable national cyberinfrastructure that allows ease of movement between campus and XSEDE resources. This work is done by the XSEDE Cyberinfrastructure Resource Integration group. XCI makes house calls – they will visit your campus and work with you to implement XCI tools on your local cyberinfrastructure resources (even if you think they are not terrifically large). These tools are useful to campus CI operators completely independent of any lack or presence of integration with XSEDE.
Support for XSEDE Service Providers. XCI provides a host of tools specifically to support for XSEDE service providers at all three levels – taking what we do for any campus CI operator and adding in tools specific to the integration of campus-based resources and federally funded resources with XSEDE.
Integrating important and useful software tools into the XSEDE ecosystem. These tools may be useful to infrastructure operators (Service Providers), software/service developers, or end users of XSEDE integrated cyberinfrastructure resources. This work is done primarily by the Requirements Analysis and Capability Delivery unit and includes working with all relevant stakeholders to: document software related requirements and use cases, identify capability gaps and priorities, coordinate software integration work, adapt software to interoperate with other CI, instrument software for usage tracking and ROI analysis, conduct software design/security reviews, conduct quality assurance testing, and to enable and support sharing and collaboration amongst all software providers and consumers.
XCI delivers these services by first carefully analysing and documenting service provider, developer, and end user expressed needs (Use Cases); then by evaluating capability gaps, preparing Capability Delivery Plans (CDPs), and determining gap priorities using advisory groups; and finally by partnering with all available capability providers to prepare and integrate capabilities that address priority gaps as quickly as possible.
Like all areas of XSEDE, XCI operates on the basis of tracking metrics most particularly our Key Performance Indicators. A list of our KPIs, and progress against them, is available at https://confluence.xsede.org/display/XT/WBS+2.3.x+XCI+Metrics