A key concept of CEMS is to enable registered users to fully exploit both the high performance computing capabilities and the vast quantities of data within the CEMS facility. This is achieved in part by the use of virtualisation technologies, exposing the computing hardware resources through a cloud infrastructure.


The virtualised services CEMS offers are wide-ranging and can be grouped into two general themes:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The Infrastructure as a Service offering is provisioned by vCloud Director and provides end users with the ability to configure their own virtual environment within their own contained cloud profile via a GUI. The IaaS offering provides the following functionality:

  • Create new Virtual Machines
  • Configure Virtual Machines i.e. networking, IP addresses, Firewall configuration etc.
  • Create virtual networks
  • Create and configure Firewalls
  • Configure vLANs to access a company’s own networks to upload EO data for processing in the CEMS virtualised environment.
  • Ability to attach CD’s from a user’s PC to a virtual machine
  • Ability to attach USB storage from a user’s PC to a virtual machine
  • Ability to attach network storage from a user’s PC to a virtual machine
  • Share folders between a vCloud Virtual machine and the machine used to access the vCloud environment
  • Configure SSH access to virtual machines running under the IaaS offering

Software as a Service (SaaS)

CEMS registered users can make use of the Data Discovery tools hosted on the CEMS environment in both the commercial and academic infrastructures. This web-based tool allows users to submit searches on EO datasets available on the CEMS environment. After viewing the results of a search, users can download the data produced as a result of their search (assuming they have the correct permissions).

As part of the CEMS work, the services from the NERC Earth Observation Data Centre (NEODC) have been integrated into CEMS and the academic data discovery tool has evolved from this. Discovery data is shared between the academic and commercial discovery services whilst each present an interface tailored to the needs of their respective communities. Discovery records also link to associated services provided to enable access to datasets and to provide more detailed information about them.

We note that users are able to install their own software and tools in their CEMS virtual environment, enabling their own data or CEMS community data to be manipulated or processed to higher level products, or to support a service/application.

Download the CEMS Acceptable Use Policy (Academic Policies are available from CEDA)

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