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SeaDataNet: a pan-European infrastructure for marine data management

SeaDataNet is a leading pan-European network and infrastructure for ocean and marine data management.



SeaDataNet is a leading pan-European network and infrastructure for ocean and marine data management. It develops and promotes FAIR data management standards, tools and services for handling and providing discovery and access to marine data sets in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and geophysics.
SeaDataNet connects more than 110 data centres from 34 countries for discovery and access to marine data for physics, chemistry, geology, bathymetry, and biology from science and monitoring activities. It is a major contributor to EMODnet, Copernicus CMEMS, and Blue-Cloud.


The challenge

One of the main challenges is the management of the marine distributed data stored in more than 110 nodes, providing access to this large “Data Lake” of metadata and data sets, both to the internal SeaDataNet Virtual Research Environment and to the external applications from other communities and EOSC users.
Services should be provided in a cloud platform that enables data analytics, data visualisation and data publishing, working via interoperability solutions that deliver harmonised metadata and data. Core services in the SeaDataNet infrastructure should provide unified access to the large volumes of marine and oceanographic data sets managed by the distributed data centres to underpin these analytics, visualisation and publishing services.
Access to the data must be efficient because good performance is a requirement of visualisation tools. Marine data sets are often stored in small but numerous data files, so their rapid retrieval must be designed accordingly.
The data provider needs to track usage. Both services and data must be protected by a common Authentication and Authorisation framework that is integrated with EOSC, allowing users to easily access the system with their respective “Home Organisation” credentials, and administrators to assign authorisation attributes to users based on their permissions on the resource.

The solution

The collaboration between EGI and SeaDataNet started in the EOSC-hub project in 2020, where a pilot utilised the OneData platform to test its effectiveness in managing and sharing data. While the pilot successfully showcased the potential of OneData, it was clear that further fine-tuning and customisation were necessary to make it more relevant for specific use cases within SeaDataNet.

In the subsequent pilot, the focus shifted to testing the capabilities of OneData in collecting data from remote locations within the SeaDataNet network and providing access to that data from a centralised node. The pilot achieved its objective of demonstrating the feasibility of remote data collection and central access, which primarily served as a technological testing ground, with no immediate implications for operational deployment.

In EGI-ACE (2021-2023), with the participation of MARIS and AWI, the intention was to leverage a range of advanced technologies, including the PaaS (Platform as a Service) Orchestrator, Cloud Compute, and Online Storage.

The deployment of the WebODV application on the EGI cloud was an essential part of this endeavour. WebODV, a Web-based version of the popular Ocean Data View (ODV) software, has around 10.000 users worldwide and allows researchers to analyse physical and chemical ocean data collections and performs interactive exploration, analysis and visualisation of oceanographic and other geo-referenced profiles or sequence data. This service enables research data interoperability, as the ODV collection format has been adopted by other leading ocean and marine organisations and thus can be used widely.

The application was deployed on the INFN-CLOUD-BARI cloud, and the integration of Check-in for application access was achieved successfully. The events to present WebODV attracted many participants from all around the world, which led to a large number of sessions run by users on the EGI platform. WebODV hosting will be continued in the BlueCloud2026 project.

While certain challenges were encountered during the EGI-ACE project, the integration of PaaS remains a promising prospect for future implementation, to deploy private and dedicated instances of WebODV transparently. The collaborative efforts between EGI and SeaDataNet in conducting pilots in the two EGI flagship projects and exploring advanced technologies have provided valuable insights and set the stage for future advancements. The pilots primarily served as testbeds for technological evaluation, and they laid the groundwork for potential real-world applications.


Solution's architecture

SeaDataNet has tested the following EGI services

TOSCA-based deployment orchestration service on multiple IaaS for coordinating the provisioning of virtualised compute and storage resources on distributed cloud infrastructures and the deployment of “dockerised” services and jobs on Mesos and Kubernetes clusters

Run virtual machines on-demand with complete control over computing resources for WebODV service deployment and data analysis

Store, share and access your files and their metadata on a global scale for distributed data management

Access key scientific datasets in a scalable way for simple and scalable access to distributed data

Login with your own credentials for authentication and authorisation of users to access applications

Dedicated computing and storage for training and education to best use the services

With WebODV, the online version of the worldwide used ODV software, we are approaching the 21st century and we are serving the needs of today's users. Easy access via the browser from any computer with Internet connection and a simple login process provide comfortable working conditions. The online data visualisation, extraction and analysis services strengthen the accessibility and distribution of scientific data as well as the collaboration of researchers worldwide. The needed Cloud backend to provide such a system has been made available by the EGI-ACE project, where we could deploy the WebODV app at the INFN-CLOUD-BARI computing centre. These developments and implementations have been made possible with the outstanding technical support and state-of-the-art infrastructure at INFN-CLOUD-BARI. The frame of EGI-ACE was the initial step to deploy a WebODV instance operationally. Now, the user community is growing and WebODV support will be continued in the BlueCloud2026 project. Dr. Sebastian Mieruch-Schnülle, the developer of webODV


>700 users

from early 2022 to mid 2023

1076 sessions

of users exploring, downloading or doing data extraction (late 2022 to mid 2023)

Supporting projects


EGI-ACE is a 30-month project with a mission to empower researchers from all disciplines to...