ICT Architecture

EPOS e-Architecture passed through three different phases: strawman, woodman and ironman. They represent incremental refinements of the starting architecture updated following discussion, collection requirements, use-cases and other activities, including synergies with other EU projects and initiatives.

The main concept is that the EPOS TCS integration is achieved into the ICS by means of a communication layer called the "compatibility layer". This layer contains all the technology to integrate data, data products and services from a single community into the integrated environment: the Integrated Core Services (ICS). The EPOS ICT-architecture has been then progressively refined taking into account requirements as they evolved, the information in RIDE, and the changing ICT environment, thus leading to a new functional architecture, depicted in the figure below.


Epos Integrated Core Services


The key to this functional architecture is the metadata catalogue. A three-layer metadata structure was proposed and agreed as follows: 

  • an upper layer for discovery, using Dublin Core as metadata system extended to include the capability to generate from the underlying contextual layer – in addition to Dublin Core – DCAT, INSPIRE and both CKAN and eGMS to allow integration with government open data (data.gov) sources; 
  • a middle layer as a contextual layer, using CERIF (Common European Research Information Format, recommended to the EU Member States as a tool to harmonize databases on research projects);
  • a lower layer, which includes detailed metadata standards by domain or even individual database for each kind of data (or software, computer resources or detectors/instruments) to be (co)-processed.

Epos 3-layers metadata structure


Metadata describe not only datasets but also software services, users and resources such as computers, datastores, laboratory equipment and instruments. The need for extensive maintenance of this information in the catalog is clearly understandable. This could be done by human means but we propose to use a mix of human actions aided by appropriate software tools to keep the catalog up-to-date and to ensure that all accesses and uses are appropriate.

Indeed this is a typical task that is accomplished by what we call EPOS system manager. 

In order to describe in detail all the features of our e-Architecture, together with the latest updates, an EPOS ICT wiki is available for the ICT experts.



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