The concept of documentation is rapidly changing in the 21st century. From a special interest area, it has evolved into an omni-tool for all knowledge intensive industries. As we move into the era of the semantic web and the internet of things, semantic representation and interconnection is becoming the core information infrastructure for all aspects of social, industrial, educational, research and economic activities. Everything, from social networks to control of industrial production, digital educational resources and new knowledge production is increasingly relying on semantic representation to make sure content is discoverable, manageable and reusable.
In response to these changes, we have developed into a horizontal e-infrastructure to aid the production, dissemination and reuse of knowledge. In order to be effective, we have adopted open standards and software for all infrastructure levels along with Green IT to guarantee long-term sustainability with lower environmental costs.
Much time and effort has been invested in the development of a datacentre which supports our aims to provide up-to-date, innovative, efficient and quality services. This development has been achieved through successive multiple stages funded, for the most part, by developmental projects we have carried out. It constitutes an important national investment in infrastructure and human resources in order to provide services of high quality with superior availability and highly scalable architecture.
At the datacentre, the evolution and maintenance of the infrastructure, together with the know-how and the expertise form a critical component, upon which modern and innovative services are constantly being developed so as to facilitate the needs of academia, organisations and the general public. Additionally, the datacentre has given the library at the National Hellenic Research Foundation added value.
The datacentre is a reference point for the country, where, besides the organization's e-infrastructure and the GEANT, PITHOS and ViMA nodes are hosted in a specially designed space (over 100 square metres and an emergency generator power supply of 550 KVA). The virtualization platform, which has been in operation since 2007, supports approximately 240 physical and virtual servers, minimizing financial and environmental costs.
Green IT principles are applied and the centre designs tools for monitoring, recording and improving energy consumption aiming at long-term sustainability and lower environmental costs. In order to ensure flexible and low costs, the centre uses Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to provide scalable services without software licencing fees and extensively applies technology for virtualization.
In order to guarantee reliability, organization and system safety, the mechanisms for monitoring, management and control are all in real time for more than 2,500 parameters with alert and response capabilities.
The datacentre provides 3 main categories of services.
The first category is horizontal support for online applications we develop, including digital repositories, e-publications, registers and indexes, statistics and indicators and ABEKT software and openABEKT.
All applications providing support and services operate on the basιs of multilevel (multi-tier) architecture design driven by the maximum availability and potentially unlimited scalability, applying on each level advanced techniques for horizontal development and load sharing.
Secondly, the datacentre provides hosting and support services for third parties hosting either services for users, or physical equipment providing all the additional features (network, environmental conditions, stable and uninterrupted power supply, enhanced physical and logic security etc.) which adds value, safeguards the equipment and guarantees an increased level of availability and quality of service provision for the user of the particular organization.
Finally, the datacentre offers a number of supportive but extremely important and critical services. The most important of these are :
(a) reliable network services using state-of-the-art equipment with high speed multipaths (10Gbps fiber/copper),
(b) advanced services network security logic using firewalls, encryption architecture, etc.
(c) backup with magnetic media with high capacity using robotic libraries,
(d) detailed historical record of energy consumption and cost of equipment subsections and
(e) 24/7 monitoring and historical documenting of the functioning of the services, equipment and environmental conditions with automatic technical resets for proper functioning and/or alerts.
Based on the aforementioned, it is clear that our datacentre constitutes a vital infrastructure of a horizontal nature, not only for the services provided and the data which is available, but also for a vast array of users, which includes governmental national and international bodies, private businesses, scientific and research personnel, the academic community and the public.
e-infrastructure for library, conferences & teleconferences :
• Public access to wireless broadband for library users and visitors to the National Hellenic research Foundation
• Electronic Reading Room with 20 terminals in the Library of ScienceTechnology & Culture - access to scientific information using smart cards
• Live streaming and video on demand for events held in the NHRF amphitheatre. EKT's video library which has a variety of multimedia material (videos and photographs at media.ekt.gr
• Media room, fully equipped for teleconferences.