OPeNDAP’s Server4: Building a High Performance Data Server for the DAP Using Existing Software

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Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting 2006



OPeNDAP has been working in conjunction with NCAR/ESSL/HAO to develop a modular, high performance data server that will be the successor to the current OPeNDAP data server. The new server, called Server4, is really two servers: A 'Back-End' data server which reads information from various types of data sources and packages the results in DAP objects; and A 'Front-End' which receives client DAP request and then decides how use features of the Back-End data server to build the correct responses. This architecture can be configured in several interesting ways: The Front- and Back-End components can be run on either the same or different machines, depending on security and performance needs, new Front-End software can be written to support other network data access protocols and local applications can interact directly with the Back-End data server.

This new server's Back-End component will use the server infrastructure developed by HAO for use with the Earth System Grid II project. Extensions needed to use it as part of the new OPeNDAP server were minimal. The HAO server was modified so that it loads 'data handlersユ at run-time. Each data handler module only needs to satisfy a simple interface which both enables the previously existing data handlers written for the old OPeNDAP server to be used and also simplifies writing new handlers from scratch. The Back-End server leverages high-performance features developed for the ESG II project, so applications that can interact with it directly can read large volumes of data efficiently. The Front-End module of Server4 uses the Java Servlet system in place of the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) used in the past. New front-end modules can be written to support different network data access protocols, so that same server will ultimately be able to support more than the DAP/2.0 protocol. As an example, we will discuss a SOAP interface that's currently in development.

In addition to support for DAP/2.0 and support for a protoype SOAP interface, the new server includes support for the THREDDS cataloging protocol. THREDDS is tightly integrated into the Front-End of Server4. The Server4 Front-End can make full use of the advanced THREDDS features such as attribute specification and inheritance, custom catalogs which segue into automatically generated catalogs as well as providing a default behavior which requires almost no catalog configuration.


DateCreated ByLink
April 15, 2012
Patrick WestDownload

Related Projects:

Description: Tasks for various TWC projects related to data access and the OPeNDAP software products.