An external pool of senior experts, Geoffrey Fox, Yannis Ioanndis, Paul Messina, and Dora Varvarigou, form part of the VENUS-C External International Advisory Committee. These leading community specialists bring expertise in data and distributed computing infrastructures at European and global level. Together, they are providing advice and guidance on the strategic progress of VENUS-C and its positioning within the wider Distributed Computing Infrastructure landscape, and will play a role in evaluating potential applications through the Open Call. VENUS-C has also gained insights from Paolo Balboni, Founder, Balboni Law Firm & Executive Director of European Privacy Association with particular reference to legal issues surrounding Cloud computing.

Geoffrey Fox, is Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research and Professor of Informatics at the University of Indiana, and also serves as the Director of FutureGrid in the U.S.. His involvement in the Advisory Committee focuses on providing input on user community gaps in the U.S. scenario and understanding how FutureGrid could benefit from close links with VENUS-C.

"The great success of Generalized Worker Role in VENUS-C has emphasized to me that building a library of customizable Roles or Appliances is a powerful cloud programming model." VENUS-C also shows striking success in using standards BES(JSDL) for submission, OCCI for clouds, CDMI for storage as well as security and accounting standards."

Yannis Ioannidis is Director General at ATHENA Research Center and Chair of the Special Interest Group on Data Management (SIGMOD) in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Through his involvement in the Advisory Committee, he will be providing expert know-how from a data infrastructure perspective, while also bringing his expertise regarding the potential applications submitted through the Open Call.

"My participation in the VENUS-C EIAC has been a very rewarding experience. I was involved in cloud research before VENUS-C started, in particular, in optimising the execution of complex data processing flows on top of the cloud, taking into account both the monetary cost as well as the running time of the flow. Nevertheless, being affiliated with VENUS-C, I learned several new technologies, techniques, and approaches. It was particularly revealing to see so many different applications being in need of cloud services, yet with rather diverse characteristics and diverse requirements. It was also very nice to see the analysis on stateful interactions over the cloud and the difficulties with addressing them. Finally, I had the opportunity to meet and discuss with several new colleagues, first among them my fellow members of the EIAC and several new consortium members".

Paul Messina, is Director of Science at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), U.S., guiding the ALCF science teams using the IBM Blue Gene/P system. He is one of the authors of the report written by the Advisory Panel on Cyber-Infrastructure for the National Science Foundation in the U.S. His participation in the Advisory Committee will ensure VENUS-C benefits from an in-depth European and global understanding of the landscape.

 "The VENUS-C project surprised me (in a positive way) on several aspects. At the start of the project I was sceptical that a usable and useful cloud environment for scientific applications could be developed, deployed, and used in only two years. VENUS-C was able to accomplish all of that. Second, I had not expected that so many applications teams external to the VENUS-C project would apply to use the system and that so many were able to use it for their research. Both of those results will guide my judgement and planning in the future. Finally, the lack of a traditional scheduler seemed to not be an issue; many previous distributed computing/grid/cloud efforts feature their scheduler as a major feature. That outcome has informed my views on the essential elements of the software stack. In summary, I learned important lessons from my exposure to the VENUS-C project that I anticipate applying to future activities"

Thierry Priol is a senior scientist at INRIA, and is Deputy Scientific Director assigned to the Research Department in charge of the Networks, Systems and Services, Distributed Computing domain. He has acted as the scientific coordinator of the CoreGRID network of excellence funded by the European His involvement as an Advisory Committee member will ensure VENUS-C benefits from his insights on Cloud computing uptake in general and in France in particular, and from his expertise in the distributed computing arena with particular reference to his foreground gained in EU funded in initiatives, such as the CoreGrid Network of Excellence.

"Participation to the VENUS-C EIAC brings me new insight on how to use Cloud technologies in several scientific domains. The results that have been achieved during the second year of the project are impressive and they contributed to position Cloud as an effective paradigm to provide computing power, not only to the research community, but also to small companies for which HPC systems are not economically affordable".

Dora Varvarigou is Professor at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) with expertise in semantic web technologies, scheduling over distributed platforms, embedded systems and grid computing. She is currently involved in the EC-funded VISION project. Her involvement in the Advisory Committee provides key insights into current and potential new user communities for VENUS-C.

"I found the work that has been presented very interesting on the applications side, especially the ones that deal with architecture and design. I have made contacts with the partners that represent these applications and I plan to get in touch with them when planning for new research activities in the field of Cloud Computing. I also had the chance to understand in depth the work of the technical partners, and I am in touch with people from Engineering, Microsoft and BSC to plan common research in the area of Cloud Computing Programing Languages in the future".