gCube is the Software System designed and implemented to enable the building and operation of a Service Oriented Infrastructure supporting the definition of Virtual Research Environments (VREs). Moreover, it is equipped with a rich array of "mediators" making it possible the exploitation of services and facilities offered by others infrastructures including:
- the largest Grid infrastructure currently existing, i.e. the infrastructure operated by European Grid Initiative (EGI) (formerly operated by European Grid for E-sciencE project (EGEE));
A Service Oriented Infrastructures is an infrastructure developed according to the Service Orientation principles, this reflects in facilities for the re-usability and dynamic allocation of the resources forming the infrastructure itself. A Virtual Research Environment is the materialization of a very flexible and agile application development model based on the notion of Software as a Service (SaaS) in which components may be bound instantly, just at the time they are needed and then the binding may be discarded. According to it, user communities are enabled to define their own applications by simply selecting the application constituents (the services, the collections, the machines) among the pool of resources made available through the infrastructure. The cost of operating each defined VRE is completely outsourced to the infrastructure that by applying economies of scale to the operation of the applications (sharing and re-use) can offer better, cheaper and more reliable applications than single communities can themselves.
This system has been implemented with the support of the European Commission in the context of a series of projects:
- DILIGENT - A DIgital Library Infrastructure on Grid ENabled Technology (2004-2007);
- D4Science - DIstributed colLaboratories Infrastructure on Grid ENabled Technology for Science (2008-2009);
- D4Science-II - Data Infrastructure Ecosystem for Science (2009-2011);
- iMarine - Data e-Infrastructure Initiative for Fisheries Management and Conservation of Marine Living Resources (2011-2015);
- EUBrazilOpenBio - EU-Brazil Open Data and Cloud Computing e-Infrastructure for Biodiversity (2011-2013);
- ENVRI - Common Operations of Environmental Research Infrastructures (2011-2015);
- BlueBRIDGE - Building Research environments for fostering Innovation, Decision making, Governance and Education to support Blue growth (2015-ongoing);
Some details on the specific developments are reported here.
The rest of this Wiki is dedicated to provide pointers to various information on this system including: