FERRY – Frontier Experiments RegistRY

Have you ever wondered about what happens when a new postdoc joined an experiment, or if someone you’re collaborating with wanted to run a production workflow? By now, you’re probably used to accessing ServiceNow, navigating through pretty complicated choices, selecting an appropriate form, and submitting the request. Do you want to know what happens next? Probably not…

Behind the scenes there is a pretty complicated and somewhat convoluted process that creates your user name, assigns you to appropriate groups, sets up the right ACLs on BlueArc and dCache, creates your user directory on the interactive nodes, and populates VOMS and GUMS. Over the years, the tasks that allow the management of user authorization and quotas have become more and more complicated and disjointed. SCD decided to streamline these tasks and replace the existing processes with a new service, Frontier Experiments RegistRY (FERRY).

The primary goal of this project is to create account registry and quota management for Fermilab experimenters. FERRY will allow various services, including Fifebatch, dCache, EOS, NIS, POMS and many others, to provide users with authorized access to computing and storage systems. It will provide information relevant to a user: a user name, group affiliations, current quota and relevant paths to a home directory or storage from one centralized place.

Instead of the current system of multiple repositories serving as sources of users’ account mappings, FERRY will be gathering and storing all information in a central repository. We will provide a Restful API that will allow all existing services to pull this information from the central repository. We will also automate, as much as possible, the workflows that are initiated from ServiceNow as requests for accounts, storage, and quota increase.

–Tanya Levshina