ITI Project Brief - v 2022


It is strongly recommended that this template is developed as a Word document and once approved, transferred to this project page (due to the limitation of the website in regard to editing and for easier sharing, tracking and versioning)  



Document Sign-off

Name Role Date signed off
David Fergusson Project Sponsor  
Chris Walker Project Manager  
  Programme Manager  
Aaron Turner oOher stakeholders  





Open onDemand and EasyBuild interfaces to give  a. web access to high performance compute b. improved ability of COs and researchers to intall and manage their own software on compute services 

Sharepoint SIte 

Access to advanced computing and data services can be complicated and difficult for many researchers.

In order to address this a number of domain specific and general approaches have been made to produce web interfaces for advanced resources. While none of these has achieved general adoption, some have been very useful in providing improved access for groups of researchers.


The aim of this project is to pilot two potential interfaces that may be of value in providing easier access to DRS systems (EDDIE, Eleanor, etc).

These interfaces are EasyBuild and Open OnDemand.

Both of these interfaces can benefit both advanced and beginner users by lowering the technical knowledge required to use the facilities.  This is done by presenting familiar graphical interfaces and also allowing advanced users increased options for automation to streamline their workflows while accessing sophisticated aspects of the platforms.


Out of Scope


Objectives and Deliverables and Success Criteria


Easy Build:

Easy Build is a framework that allows researchers and College staff to manage research software on HPC systems. It has the following features:

  • flexible framework for building/installing research software
  • fully automates software builds
  • divert from the standard “configure / make / make install” with custom procedures
  • allows for easily reproducing previous builds
  • keep the software build recipes/specifications simple and human-readable
  • supports co-existence of versions/builds via dedicated installation prefix and module files
  • enables sharing with the HPC community (win-win situation)
  • automagic dependency resolution
  • retain logs for traceability of the build processes

Some key features of EasyBuild:

  • build & install (scientific) software fully autonomously

    • also interactive installers, code patching, generating module file, …
  • easily configurable: config file/environment/command line
    • including aspects like module naming scheme
  • thorough logging and archiving
    • entire build process is logged thoroughly, logs are stored in install directory;
    • easyconfig file used for build is archived (install directory + file/svn/git repo)
  • automatic dependency resolution 
    • build entire software stack with a single command, using --robot
  • building software in parallel
  • robust and thoroughly tested code base, fully unit-tested before each release
  • thriving, growing community

Open OnDemand:

Open OnDemand is an NSF-funded open-source HPC portal based on OSC’s original OnDemand portal. The goal of Open OnDemand is to provide an easy way for system administrators to provide web access to their HPC resources, including, but not limited to:

  • Plugin-free web experience
  • Easy file management
  • Command-line shell access
  • Job management and monitoring across different batch servers and resource managers
  • Graphical desktop environments and desktop applications
  • Key benefit to the end user: You can use any web browser to access resources at a computing service provider.



Eddie is deployed with CentOS 7, but with plans to upgrade to key components Rocky Linux 8.5 if required. StackHPC standardises on Rocky Linux 8.5, but understands that CentOS 7 is supported as standard by Open OnDemand.

Open OnDemand will require the deployment of a webserver with SSL certificate. The University IT Services can provide an SSL certificate for this purpose. If this is not practical, a self-signed certificate will be generated for proof-of-concept purposes.

Open OnDemand will be installed from RPMs onto the login node, using Ansible playbooks. Some adaptation will be required to support Altair Grid Engine as back-end.

User Authentication

Open OnDemand favours Open ID Connect (OIDC) user authentication. Dex will be deployed to 2 interface to the University IT Services Microsoft AD, and present OIDC protocol for Open OnDemand.

Dex requires TLS for secure LDAP authentication to Microsoft AD.

Some playbook adaptation will be required to install Dex, and configure for integration with the Microsoft AD service.

High Availability Considerations

The initial deployment is proposed to be single-node. This deployment can be backed up and restored, but will not have high availability or redundancy for users.

A multi-node configuration could be created through deployment of Open OnDemand in the same manner on multiple login nodes, fronted by a load balancer such as HAProxy. High-availability is out of scope for this proposal.

Interactive Compute Environments

Open OnDemand supports alternative interfaces to batch compute environments, such as remote desktops and Jupyter notebooks. This is supported by StackHPC's Ansible playbooks on Rocky Linux 8.5, but requires further configuration of the compute node software environment to add additional package dependencies.

If the University IT Team requires this capability, two or more compute nodes should be removed from the production Eddie environment and reconfigured as a private queue for this purpose. The StackHPC team would require engineering access to these compute nodes in order to perform setup.



Guidance (please remove)

Project will have these governance roles by default. Change as appropriate.

Portfolio Governance  

Role Name Division / Group / Team / College / School and Title
Project Sponsor David Fergusson  
Programme Owner David Fergusson  
Programme Manager Maurice Francheshi  
Portfolio Owner Aaron Turner  
Service Owner / Service Operations Manager Aaron Turner  


Project Board



Role Name Division / Group / Team / College / School and Title
Executive David Fergusson  
Senior User (may be the Executive) Aaron Turner  
Senior Supplier Stack HPC  



Guidance (please remove)

For medium and large projects, state any tolerances for budget/timeline/scope beyond which point the Project Manager must request approval of the change from the Sponsor and / or the Board. For all projects, check if there is a tolerance on budget/timeline/quality for escalating to programme/portfolio manager.



Resources Skills and Cost


Quote can be found on sharepoint site


Total 6 days labor by Stack HPC


Project Team

Guidance (please remove)

The project team : who manages the team, lead and other technical people, business analysts, lead and other representatives, people in other areas of the University who will be involved in analysis, testing, acceptance and service handover.


Role Name Division / Group / Team / College / School and Title
Project Manager Chris Walker  
Technical Lead and other technicians Aaron Turner  
User(s) - who will help in analysis, testing and sign-offs Aaron Turner  


Quality of Project and Deliverables / Key Project Milestones

ilestone Sign-Off means Date of Milestone Who signs-off (Accountability)

Start of Project

Project can begin, is in line with Programme and Portfolio priority, has resource

Add initial planning dates for milestones

Sponsor, Programme Manager

End of Planning

Project Brief, Plan, Estimated Budget, Risks, Communication Plan - all approved. Project has resource approved by section head for the estimated effort. Project has funding for effort for other costs.


Sponsor, PM, Programme Manager, Section Head(s)

End of Analysis quality and completeness of analysis   business analyst / business lead / senior user / PM
End of Design quality and completeness of design   technical lead / senior supplier/ business lead / senior user/ PM
End of UI Design quality of UI - to show we have designed an interface that is usable, accessible, promotes equality and diversity   technical lead / senior supplier/ business lead / senior user
End of Build quality and completeness of build   technical lead / senior supplier/ PM
Acceptance overall quality of deliverable, UAT has been passed, Intergation testing successful, all components technically checked  - fit for delivery to live service  

technical lead / senior supplier /business lead / senior user /business analyst /PM


Security QA deliverable satisifies security   Section Head
Branding QA for new, upgraded services, sign-off that branding guidelines for ISG, University, school/college has been followed by the project team  

PM / and as appropriate ...

UoE C&M, college C&M and (pending) ISG Branding Team

Design UI QA to show we have built an interface that is usable, accessible, promotes equality and diversity   Sponsor and Service Owner
EqIA For new services or services undergoing substantial change, there must be an Equality Impact Assessment completed, validated by equality office and deposited on eqia website   PM / Service Owner / Equality Officer
GDPR / PIA Check if your project needs to undergo a Privacy Impact Assessment   PM / Service Owner / CISO
GoCAB Set the appropriate date for informing GoCAB of the release/change to service   PM


Change to Service can proceed


Sponsor, PM

service owner/ service operations manager (helpline)

Handover to Support support can take over running of the Service   service owner/ service operations manager (helpline)


Project can close


Sponsor, PM



Guidance (please remove)

What are the key underlying assumptions for the project that underpin the planning? For example, that the requirements we have outlined are complete, that all our stakeholders have been identified, that the software we are using is ready and configured, that we have a ready to use TEST environment.



Guidance (please remove)

Are there constraints on this project? For example, specialist skills are needed, having to deliver in certain windows through the academic year, we need to share a TEST environment with other developers?



Guidance (please remove)

The project manager will ensure that the project team will review the risk log at every team meeting, and project owners update their risks at least once a month or more as appropriate to the project.



Guidance (please remove)

The project manager will ensure all changes to cost/timeline/scope must be recorded in the issue log, and reflected in miletones log, budget and estimations, and the project Scope Change log.


Previous Lessons Learned

Guidance (please remove)

Does the ITI Lessons Learned (see ITI Projects Sharepoint) indicate any issues or risks from previous projects? Is any other previous experience pertinent?



Guidance (please remove)

Are there other projects or work that this project is dependent on to start or possibly interact with at a later stage - or vice-versa that depend on this project.

Are we depending on certain events to take place?

Are we dependent on suppliers, or product releases?





Guidance (please remove)

For projects with an array of external stakeholders, a Communication Plan can be created and made available on the ITI Sharepoint space if preferred.

Also confirm that :

Project Sponsor and Project Manager meeting schedule has been agreed with Sponsor.

Project Team meetings schedule has been arranged (these may be combined with Sponsor meetings).


Check the ITI Annual Planning Engagement with Stakeholders on ITI Sharepoint to see the level of engagement our partners expect for your project

Check the ITI Forward Look to see if your project wil be using the Major Governance Toolkit.



Run / Grow / Transform

Guidance (please remove)

Which activity does the project contribute to? The project could be one or more of R/G/T


Alignment to Strategy 2030 



Teaching and Learning


Social and Civic Responsibility




Project Sponsor – Project Responsibilities

The sign-off milestones are associated with specific responsibilities of the Sponsor role .

Guidance (please remove)

This sets out the Sponsor responsibilities on this project - please review and amend as appropriate for this project and agree with Sponsor

Start of project – Explicitly Included in the Initiation Milestones Sign-Off

  1. Negotiates and confirms funding for the project
  2. Ensures the project is in line with organisational strategy and priorities
  3. Chairs the project board, appoints its members and ensures they are effective
  4. Advises the project manager of protocols, political risks, issues and sensitivities
  5. Makes the project visible within the organisation  

End of Planning – Explicitly Included in the Planning Milestone Sign-Off

  1. Works with the project manager to develop the Project Brief
  2. Ensures a realistic project plan is produced
  3. Sets tolerance levels for escalation to themselves and to the project board
  4. Ensures that project team have representation and engagement from users and suppliers
  5. Helps identify Stakeholders
  6. Approves Communication Plan
  7. Agrees on frequency of meetings with Project Manager
  8. Agrees of frequency of meetings with Project Team
  9. Agrees on milestones and who signs-off


Execution – ongoing

  1. Provides strategic direction and guidance to the project manager as directed by the Board
  2. Approves changes to plans, priorities, deliverables, schedule
  3. Encourages stakeholder involvement and maintains their ongoing commitment
  4. Chief risk taker
  5. Makes go/no-go decisions
  6. Communicates change in organisational structure, priorities, business benefits or funding
  7. Helps the project manager in conflict resolution
  8. Helps resolve inter project boundary issues
  9. Gains agreement among stakeholders when differences of opinion occur
  10. Assists the project by exerting organisational authority and the ability to influence  

Delivery – Explicitly Included in the Delivery Sign-Off

  1. Ensures that Service is ready for change


Closure - Explicitly Included in the Closure Milestone Sign-Off


  1. Helps with publicity for the change delivered
  2. Ensure that benefits will be managed, measured and realised post-project
  3. Evaluates the project’s success upon completion

Project Info

Interfaces to digital services
ITI - Research Services (RSS)
Management Office
Project Manager
Chris Walker
Project Sponsor
David Fergusson
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Overall Priority