Monday, 29 November 2010

Innovation writeup part 1

Another successful NGS Innovation Forum. It was good to hear Real Users™ stand up and say they love the NGS (no, really!) and to tell us about all the interesting work they are doing. (Slides should appear on the agenda page shortly, Gillian is busy chasing people.)

Highlights will always be a personal choice - Jason already mentioned CVMFS. There are many interesting bits one could mention, so let's focus on one in this post: authentication.

We demonstrated the CertWizard on behalf of the dev team, and despite being a live demo, it was 100% successful. This tool will make it much easier to manage certificates: browsers were built for a lot of different things, including e-commerce, so managing certificates with browsers can be challenging. Managing credentials with this tool will be much easier, and even fun.

Speaking of easy credentials, Mike talked about Shibboleth access to the NGS (aka SARoNGS). SARoNGS is not new, but it is still changing access to services. For example, we have demonstrated login to Jason's nodes in Leeds using SARoNGS credentials.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that we are collaborating with JANET on demonstrating Project Moonshot. This project is again about federated access but at a "lower" layer than Shibboleth - Shib is very web (or HTTP) oriented which is very useful, but Moonshot aims at other services like ssh (or at the Moon.) Expect more blog posts as we make progress.

Ultimately all this authentication stuff should benefit all end users who will have a choice of how to access their services.

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