Re: [bww-users] Community-managed cloud storage services

  • To: Scott Collis <scollis@xxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [bww-users] Community-managed cloud storage services
  • From: Mohan Ramamurthy <mohan@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:49:52 -0700
On 2/11/16 3:44 PM, Scott Collis wrote:
So is this along the same lines as AWS S3?

Does it still rely on a download and compute framework?

At the moment, this is true but we are working to working to develop data-proximate, server-side processing/analysis capabilities by moving our wares (and client tools) to the cloud, and through the development and implementation of DAP4 protocol that supports asynchronous computing capabilities.

Mohan Ramamurthy <mailto:mohan@xxxxxxxx>
February 11, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Unidata is working with Open Commons Consortium (, which provides "community-managed" cloud storage and computing services. At the moment, Unidata's collaboration with OCC is focused on the NOAA Big Data project, but we expect that to grow beyond the scope of that project.


On 2/11/16 2:34 PM, Carlos Maltzahn wrote:

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Carlos Maltzahn <mailto:carlosm@xxxxxxxx>
February 11, 2016 at 4:34 PM

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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