Over the last few years, Cloud Sync&Share platforms have become go-to services for collaboration in scientific, academic and research environments, providing users with coherent and simple ways to access their data assets. Collaboration within those platforms, between local users on local applications, has been demonstrated in various settings, with visible improvements in the research production process. However, extending this paradigm beyond the borders of local and regional services has shown to be a challenge.
The EU-funded CS3MESH4EOSC Project aims to address that problem, by providing a bridge between local data and applications, and remote users, in what can be described as a "mesh" of interconnected services. The ScienceMesh, a pan-European federated network of interoperable services, is the main outcome of this Project.
We will present the architecture of the ScienceMesh and how it can be leveraged to extend local functionalities to remote users in other institutions, extending HEP beyond national frontiers and boosting cross-disciplinary research. We will then explain its technical foundations, from the APIs and protocols used in its design to the workflows which underlie its operations. We will also discuss the challenges faced during the implementation of the project, especially the integration with the two major open-source Sync&Share products on the market (ownCloud and Nextcloud). We will finish by explaining how we plan to extend the ScienceMesh to other areas and geographies.
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