[tdwg-tapir] Hosting strategies
vieglais at ku.edu
Fri May 11 13:02:50 CEST 2007
Not really a TAPIR specific response, but perhaps the right
audience. I'm probably stating the obvious, but the simplest way to
get around the hassles of running a server and the associated
firewall headaches is not to serve the data but instead to push it.
By adding an authentication layer, it would be an extension to the
GBIF REST services to allow POSTing data, rather than just GET (I may
be wrong on this - not exactly sure what degree of REST
implementation has been done by GBIF). Add in DELETE and UPDATE and
instead of GBIF running harvesters to capture data, contributors
could simply push their data when necessary. This would I expect be
an attractive solution for those data providers that would prefer not
to operate servers but would still like to contribute to the global
knowledge pool of biodiversity.
More than likely a mixed model may be more ideal - with some data
sources acting as servers, and others pushing their data. How about
if those institutions that were comfortable running and maintaining
servers also adopted the same complete REST implementation as the
hypothetical GBIF mentioned above? And what if the servers were, for
the most part, aware of each other and so could act as proxies or
mirrors for the other servers (perhaps even automatically replicating
content). The end result would be more of a mesh topology of
comparatively high reliability and availability.
It would I think be a more scalable solution, and perhaps more
maintainable in the long term, since it is a relatively simple thing
to update a standalone application that could push the data compared
with updating and securing a server. The expense of participation in
the networks would drop, and resources could be directed towards
operation of a few high quality / high reliability services for
accessing the data.
Just a thought. There are obvious social implications, such as the
perception of loosing control of one's data - but then it could also
be argued that if a provider had the ability to DELETE their records
from a server, then they actually have more control over the
distribution of their data than currently.
On May 11, 2007, at 19:19, Roger Hyam wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> There is a requirement that all wrapper type applications (TAPIR,
> DiGIR, BioCASe and others) have but that I don't think we address.
> All instances need to have:
> Either a database on a server in a DMZ or with an ISP with the
> ability to export data from the production database to the public
> database and then keep changes in the production database
> synchronize with the public database.
> Or the ability to provide a secured/restricted connection directly
> to production database through the firewall.
> Configuring the wrapper software against a database seems a smaller
> problem than getting a handle on an up to date database to
> configure it against!
> Should we have a recommended strategy or best practice for
> overcoming these problems? Do we have any figures on how they are
> overcome in the existing BioCASe and DiGIR networks?
> Many thanks for your thoughts,
> tdwg-tapir mailing list
> tdwg-tapir at lists.tdwg.org
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