Re: [thredds] nco as a web service

Hi Ben,

> This is a terrific idea.  One suggestion I have is to build it so the
> processing services can be set up in a brokering layer -- that is, so the
> input datasets can be accessed via web services and the output can be
> served via web services.  I don't  mean that this should be the only way to
> implement the nco processing, rather just keep it in mind so it's
> relatively easy to set up such a three tier architecture for the nco
> processing.

I just heard from Charlie Zender and have confirmed that the NCO routines
can operate on opendap URLs. This opens up numerous possibilities. In the
context of ramadda one can have explicit opendap links, e.g.:

All of the ramadda data services (cataloging, metadata ingest, subset, nco
(soon), grid visualizations, etc) are available for  that opendap link.

However, we have to keep in mind performance ramifications. It still takes
a long time to move gigabytes of data across a network. This brings up the
importance of moving the computation to the data, instead of moving the
data to the computation. For some data sets and many use cases remote
access to data works very well so things like brokering are tractable.
However, for *big* data sets (e.g., climate model output) we need to come
up with richer mechanisms (like the NCO on local data) to bring computation
to the data.

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