Delivering scientific software across an European or worldwide distributed system is a major challenge in high-throughput scientific computing. The problem arises at different scales for many scientific communities that use grids, clouds, workstations and distributed clusters to satisfy their computing needs.
The European Environment for Scientific Software Installations (EESSI, pronounced as “easy“) is a brand new collaboration between different European HPC sites & industry partners, with the common goal to set up a shared repository of scientific software installations that can be used on a variety of systems, regardless of which flavor/version of Linux distribution or processor architecture is used, or whether it’s a full size HPC cluster, a cloud environment or a personal workstation.
‘Wouldn’t it be great if all Academic and Research institutes over the world would benefit from each other’s knowledge & experience in deploying software packages so we can make more time available for valuable research….’
Benefits – Administrator
From the standpoint of HPC administrators, making scientific software available to users is an ever-increasing effort. For many sites, not only the number of users keeps increasing, but even so is the number of infrastructures (clusters, clouds, etcetera) and the different types of hardware architecture.
Last but not least, the amount of available scientific software is exploding. The EESSI environment simplifies and automates lots of this work, and you get your time back to focus on innovative things, as this effort is shared among many administrators. Furthermore, you get an extremely scalable and well-tested software stack that can be used on almost any infrastructure.
Benefits – Users
From a user point of view – researcher, student, and others – you can easily mount the EESSI scientific software stack on your own desktop or laptop. This allows you to set up your tasks and perform small tests on your local computer. When you are ready to scale up, you can use the exact same software stack on the cluster, in the same way as you would do on your own computer. Regardless of the system you are working on, you will automatically get software that is optimized and tested for that particular hardware.
This makes it extremely easy to scale up from your workstation to a local cluster, cloud and even to a larger national cluster, or to hop between clusters of different EESSI members.