[bww-users] Community-managed cloud storage services


This is a request for examples of community-managed cloud storage services where

“community-managed” means that the cost of the cloud storage service as well as 
its usage is managed by an institution serving a (scientific community), 
including very large communities such as earth sciences or smaller ones such as 
numerical weather prediction, and
“cloud storage services” are commercial, highly available “pay-as-you-go” 
services that provide safe and economic storage of large amounts of data and 
allow global sharing of that data controlled by the party who pays, but 
disappear as soon as payment for these services stop.

Today commercial cloud storage services are readily available and successfully 
hide the many technical challenges of highly available long-term storage at 
very attractive cost. Cloud storage also provides an excellent platform for 
naming and sharing large (and small) datasets which is essential for 
collaboration and reproducibility in data-intensive scientific disciplines. Yet 
science communities are slow to adopt cloud storage. There are probably many 
reasons for that but one that I repeatedly came across: the data stored in 
cloud storage disappears when funding for the service runs out. 

If the availability of a particular data set depends on a single community 
member's availability of funding, the likelihood of loosing data can be quite 
high and makes cloud storage too brittle for a reliable medium for scientific 
data. A better approach might be to make the availability of all data sets 
depend on the availability of funding within an entire community. Such an 
arrangement would benefit that community by facilitating data sharing, 
collaboration, and maintaining greater reproducibility of scientific results. 

But community-funded cloud storage has all the management challenges of a 
commons. For example, how should the storage space be governed? How much money 
should the community spend on cloud storage? How is the money raised among the 
members of the community? How do communities prevent The Tragedy of the Commons 

Please let me know of any examples you are aware of. Who is working on this? Do 
examples exist with somewhat different definitions of "community-managed" or 
"cloud storage services”?


Carlos Maltzahn
Adjunct Professor       
Computer Science Department
University of California, Santa Cruz    

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