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The User-Facing Projects and Core Services (UFC) area encompasses a wide range of efforts to support the technological infrastructure through which users interact with TeraGrid. These efforts include centralized mechanisms for user access, the allocations process and allocations management, RP integration and information sharing, user information presentation, and user information production and organization.


UFC Management and Coordination

The UFC area is adopting a three-pronged coordination approach.

Call in details for all UFC calls is the same:

  • Toll-Free: 866-740-1260
  • Alt. Toll: 303-248-0285
  • Access Code: 8229741#

UFC Operations (UFC-OPS)

UFC Operations (UFC-OPS) focuses on ensuring success and resolving issues with current operational activities across the UFC objective areas. UFC-OPS replaces the UFP calls and expands the participation to include the POPS and allocations teams.

  • The UFC-OPS call is monthly on the third Tuesday of the month at 3pm Central, 1pm Pacific.
  • For the mailing list, we will continue to use ufp@teragrid.org.

UFC Development (UFC-DEV)

UFC Development (UFC-DEV) monitors milestones and deliverables related to development activities that improve the user experience. UFC-DEV replaces the Core Services 2.0 calls and expands the participation to include development efforts by the Documentation and Portals teams. The UFC-DEV efforts will coordinate with the TeraGrid QA and CUE efforts and the security-wg and services-wg, as appropriate, to ensure we are satisfying both user and RP requirements.

  • The UFC-DEV call is monthly on the last Tuesday of the month at 10am Central, 8am Pacific.
  • For the mailing list, we will continue to use core2-wg@teragrid.org.

UFC RP Interactions (UFC-RP)

The UFC-RP Interaction effort provides opportunities for RPs to raise issues with and suggest solutions to RP interactions with UFC procedures and processes. The UFC-RP interactions are managed primarily via the accounting-wg and allocations-wg calls.

  • The UFC-RP call is monthly on the third Wednesday of the month (starting 4/15/09) at 1pm Central, 11am Pacific.
  • The mailing list for most UFC infrastructure matters, including TGCDB/AMIE, is accounting-wg@teragrid.org.
  • The mailing list for allocations related matters, including the quarterly TRAC meetings, is allocations-wg@teragrid.org.

UFC Objectives

The UFC area supports and pursues improvements to five strategic objectives for TeraGrid. Each encompasses both critical operational processes and functions and significant development efforts to improve the user experience. Collectively, the goals for this area’s activities are to provide the central access and information dissemination points for TeraGrid users and to present a single interface to the collective efforts of the TeraGrid RPs.

A major PY4 activity that will support coordination of these activities will be the migration to new common backend environment (WebSphere) for both the TeraGrid User Portal (TGUP) and the teragrid.org web site. This effort will streamline these activities by enhancing content sharing, to distribute developer knowledge and capabilities, as well as enable TeraGrid to offer new features to users.

Enhanced TeraGrid User Access (UFC.Access)

This objective supports the creation and distribution of new user logins across TeraGrid RPs for the various resources, as well as enhancements to this process to integrate with campus authentication infrastructures. Within the TeraGrid Internet Framework, users are also provided ways to maintain their user profiles, customize their interaction with TeraGrid, and access TeraGrid resources and services remotely.

This objective brings new users into the TeraGrid and permits them to access TeraGrid resources at multiple sites through a variety of authentication mechanisms. In particular, this activity

  • Supports authentication for cross-RP access and usage of resources;
  • Permits scaling of user base by leverage authentication from other grids and campus authentication infrastructures;
  • Provides a central access point to resources at all RPs with automation to reduce delays to access;
  • Is developing enhanced processes to support larger number of users with the same staff; and
  • Integrates TeraGrid with external authentication infrastructures at campuses and other grids.

Allocations Process and Allocation Management (UFC.Allocations)

This objective encompasses the allocations process, both for Startup allocations as well as the merit-review TRAC (formerly xRAC) resource request process, the POPS system for request handling and management, mechanisms by which allocation PIs manage allocations through transfers, extensions and so on, and interfaces by which allocation PIs manage the users who are authorized to use their allocations. POPS and the associated resource and user management tasks will ultimately be integrated within the WebSphere-enabled TeraGrid User Portal.

This objective ensures that access to TeraGrid resources is provided via the allocations process and in response to resource and user requests from PIs.

  • Allocations for TeraGrid Roaming and resources at multiple sites support multi-site access for cross-site runs and user-driven resource load optimization.
  • New users have reduced barriers to entry when requesting TeraGrid Startup allocations.
  • A central management point permits users to request resources and manage allocations that span all or many RP sites.
  • A common process prevents duplication of efforts at multiple RPs to accomplish the same goals.

RP Integration and Information Sharing (UFC.Integration)

This objective ensures that RPs are able to provide information about their resources and services and that decisions made centrally (such as allocation awards) are communicated to the RP sites. This objective includes the accounting infrastructure of TGCDB and AMIE.

To participate fully in the TeraGrid, RPs need to integrate resources into the user-facing presence of TeraGrid and the allocations, accounting, and authorization processes. In particular, this effort supports the following benefits to TeraGrid RPs and users:

  • Integration of resources from multiple RPs supports science that could not be done at a single site.
  • A broad user base requires up-to-date information about a wide range of diverse, integrated resources and services.
  • RPs are able to provide current, up-to-date information about resources and services available as efficiently as possible.
  • Common sharing mechanisms simplify the integration of new RPs and new resources into TeraGrid.
  • Integration of new RPs and new resources (such as gateways) is simplified and scalable.

User Information Presentation (UFC.Presentation)

This objective ensures that users are provided with current, accurate information from across the TeraGrid in a dynamic environment of resources, software and services.

The TeraGrid is a dynamic environment of resources, services and software across more than 10 RP sites, and users need access to the most current information about these capabilities.

  • Up-to-date catalogs permit users to identify better tools to accomplish their job.
  • A broad user base requires easy access to information about the TeraGrid's range of diverse, integrated resources and services.
  • Users find current information across all RPs from a coordinated suite of catalog applications.
  • Dynamically driven applications provide the most current information, reducing help tickets and both GIG and RP staff effort.

Information Production and Organization (UFC.Information)

This objective includes efforts to provide documentation for TeraGrid activities, provide a knowledgebase of answers to user questions, and maintain and update general web site content, all within the TeraGrid Web environment, which is moving to WebSphere. This activity requires close interaction with RPs and other GIG areas as subject-matter experts and sources of information.

Users need accurate, navigable documentation and information to fully participate in TeraGrid, optimize their use of resources, and take advantage of TeraGrid-wide, cross-site capabilities.

  • Central documentation is needed for cross-site capabilities supported across TeraGrid.
  • New users need clear documentation about how to best use TeraGrid resources.
  • A single source of documentation and instructions is critical to making users' lives easier.
  • Central documentation efforts ensure coordination and eliminate duplication of effort.
  • Documentation can help users leverage TeraGrid resources and external resources, as appropriate.

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