ICPSR launched a new portal this week - TeachingWithData. This is part of ICPSR's grant to build a National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Pathway dedicated to social science data and teaching. I won't say too much more about the content in this post, but will instead focus on our technology selection.
The two main technical requirements were: (1) Fedora-based, and (2) fast deployment. We think we've achieved both with the site.
We implemented the site on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) instance; this allowed us to stand-up a base platform very quickly. We now have nearly a dozen instances running in AWS. Some are delivering production services, like our search technology and this Pathway, and others are used for science experiments and front-ends for storage. We've found that it's more convenient to synchronize and organize content in AWS by sticking a Linux instance in front so that we can use tools like rsync. Using Simple Storage Service (S3) directly is less convenient.
After looking at a variety of stacks that sit on top of Fedora, we selected Muradora for three main reasons:
- Open source software
- Active development community
- Best technology fit with other technology platforms in use at ICPSR