The newly created IT Consultancy Team provides advice on IT matters to communities at CERN starting new projects or reviewing the computing activities of existing ones.
The consultants share their knowledge and experience to improve awareness of the IT landscape at CERN and to advise on system architecture and design to ensure best usage of existing IT services and solutions that favour, and are compatible with, the infrastructure already in place.
They also help to formalise requirements and assess impact on security, software licenses and cost, especially where contacts among different services are needed and questions go beyond the current computing service offerings.
For instance, the IT consultants may help answering questions like the ones below:
- We are starting with project X – how could we make its computing aspects compatible with the CERN IT infrastructure? E.g. if you need a web content management system favour Drupal instead of WordPress or Joomla as Drupal is currently used in the CERN Web infrastructure. We plan to buy software X to solve problem Y – does it make sense at CERN?
- The IT Consultancy team can also help check whether software to solve the problem is already available at CERN.
- We are planning a project to solve computing problem Z – does anyone else have it at CERN?
- If we take load balancing as an example, the IT department offers load balancers covering many cases.
- There is a very useful online service – can I get the same service internally at CERN?
- For instance, it is possible to use CERNBox instead of Dropbox, with the benefit that the data stays at CERN.
- An external consulting company proposes a solution using virtual machines in an external cloud provider, such as Amazon EC2 – what to do?
- Outsourcing into an external cloud might collide with CERN’s data protection policy (in draft). The IT Consultancy team would explain to you how to run virtual machines in the CERN private cloud to avoid losing control of your data.
- I'm from a new experiment at CERN, what services and advice can the IT department provide for data taking?
- The team would help you go through the whole range of services, e.g. facilities for physics data storage such as EOS and CASTOR.
The team consists of one expert per group from the IT department as well as from BE-CO, the objective in the future being to have experts from all CERN computing groups.
The current IT Consultancy Team members are Xavier Espinal IT-ST, Luigi Gallerani BE-CO, Arash Khodabandeh IT-DB, Sebastian Lopienski IT-DI, Jose Carlos Luna IT-CS, David Martin Clavo IT-CF, Ignacio Reguero IT-CM (Coordinator) and Bruno Silva de Sousa IT-CDA .