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CILogon Silver Enables Federated Access to Open Science Grid

posted Oct 29, 2012, 9:40 AM by Jim Basney
Researchers at Virginia Tech can now access Open Science Grid resources using their campus credentials through CILogon, because Virginia Tech has now qualified for the Silver level of assurance through the InCommon federation's Identity Assurance program. Virginia Tech is the first university in the country to achieve the InCommon Silver level of assurance, which the CILogon service can translate into a credential accredited by the International Grid Trust Federation (IGTF) for acceptance by Open Science Grid and other cyberinfrastructure around the world. Initial testing by Virginia Tech staff has demonstrated end-to-end access to Open Science Grid resources using these higher assurance credentials.

The following diagram illustrates how the Virginia Tech Identity Provider and the CILogon CA translate these higher assurance credentials to enable Open Science Grid access. Key to this translation is the level of assurance mapping from InCommon Silver to IGTF provided by CILogon. Once a researcher at Virginia Tech obtains a Silver level Personal Digital Certificate (PDC), he or she can use it to obtain a CILogon Silver certificate at the IGTF level of assurance which is accepted by Open Science Grid.


Ideally the multiple credential mapping steps illustrated above would not be required, but in practice, applications of distributed computing for scientific research can cross technology and trust boundaries, and services like CILogon that map between credential policies and mechanisms can enable these activities, as demonstrated in this instance between Virginia Tech and Open Science Grid.
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