Mr Vincent Ribaillier (IDRIS)
Since 2004, the High-Performance Computing (HPC) community has organized itself in Europe through two major EU funded projects : DEISA (Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications, 2004-20011) and PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) which started in 2008. The HPC ecosystem has been consolidated with the definition of a “pyramidal model” which clarifies the relations between the different actors. This work led to the creation in 2010 of PRACE-RI, a persistent pan-European infrastructure with its headquarter seated in Brussels and established as a non-profit association of European government representative organizations responsible for HPC. Identity management has always been considered as a critical activity and it has been a constant goal to maintain a robust solution both secured and not discouraging for the end users. For this reason, technical teams have done their best to design and implement a robust and easy-to-use solution. The trust model adopted is based on X509 certificates and uses when possible the Single Sign-On (SSO) approach. A fine grained authorization system as well as a distributed accounting database are also included. Even if the current model is fully operational, PRACE is investigating how it could evolve to integrate identity federation solutions. The main reason motivating this approach is a strong wish to enable interoperability with other international projects. Therefore, PRACE follows closely as part of its technology evaluation program the efforts carried out in this field. Following open standards based solutions is essential to reach interoperability, however there are also other criteria that must not be forgotten such as the identification of trustful credential providers, common understanding of the meaning of attributes and the compliance of applications with the solutions.