The science of Digital Infrastructures raises multiple complex challenges to the research community. Experimentation is becoming an even more important methodology to assess and qualify the diverse design assumptions and choices in realistic conditions. It addresses the future Internet roadmap with an ambitious agenda regarding the fundamentals and technologies for operating reliable, safe, scalable and efficient infrastructures. This is the motivation for developing a holistic approach where all resources (compute, storage, network) are associated to continuously design, operate and automate the full life cycle management of applications and services.
The need for a RI in this domain is justified by the emergence of a future Internet including beyond 5G infrastructures that require adapted and well-tailored tools for testing and developing trust and confidence regarding the deployment phase. Experimental platforms should be able to address the end-to-end scenario, integrating all technologies and components. The ambition of SLICES is to provide a European-wide test-platform, providing advanced compute, storage and network components, interconnected by high-speed dedicated high-speed links. This will be the preferred collaborative instrument for researchers at the European level, to explore and push further, the envelope of the future Internet.
With SLICES-SC, we aspire to organize and engage the community around the users of digital science research infrastructures, and address the key issues for providing the infrastructure to a larger audience. Harmonised access, use and sharing of the different platforms, knowledge, technologies and resources (both human and technical) to different groups of users, irrespective of location, will sustain a Starting Community leveraging on a common world-class Digital Research Infrastructure.