The ALICE computing model for Run3 foresees few big centres, called Analysis Facilities, optimised for fast processing of large local sets of Analysis Object Data (AODs). Contrary to the current running of analysis trains on the Grid, this will allow for more efficient execution of inherently I/O-bound jobs. GSI will host one of these centres and has therefore finalised a first Analysis Facility prototype in order to prepare the conversion and expansion of the current ALICE Tier2 centre. In order to meet the new and enhanced requirements, the facility will need, in particular, to allow for an aggregate throughput of up to 100 GB/s.
We describe how the use of in-house developed XRootD plug-ins significantly improves the I/O performance of local file operations. Some solutions to automate and validate the creation of container images to be used in production are also presented. They constitute a reliable workflow to transparently run ALICE jobs within a controlled environment, independent of the underlying availability of software libraries, setting of environment variables or updating of software packages.