Information Technology

Purpose

The Information Technology (IT) Section at the IRIS Data Management Center is composed of software engineers and web experts whose primary function is to support both the internal operation of the DMC software systems as well as develop innovative tools for the scientific community to process data exchanged within the IRIS community.

For the internal operations of the DMC, which include data ingestion, archiving, sustainment, and dissemination processes, the IT section plays in important technical role in that it supplies the software tools needed for these internal operations to be carried out.

When it comes to supporting the public, the IT section writes software that can be easily installed on a number of common computer platforms. These software tools allow the creation and reading of the SEED data format as well as facilitating data access over the network through installed software or through a web browser.

The IT Section at IRIS DMC works hard to forge the bridges between the science on the ground and the science in the analysis lab. This section is responsible for much of the online documentation and presentation of information found on the DMC web pages. In addition, the IT Section provides technical expertise to help other groups within IRIS to function to their best capacity in matters of software, data formatting, and data archiving. This expertise also extends to the public in the form of support for the software and data services that the section maintains.

Overview

The responsibilities of the IT Section cover the entire data path through IRIS DMC: from the moment the data arrives in real-time to the moment a user first attempts to read and analyze the data on their desktop. Much of the software is written for use on internal servers by internal staff, but there are also a myriad of software tools that IRIS has developed that are freely distributed to users and designed to be easy to install and use.

Many of the software tools that the IT Section are responsible for are custom-written for the task, while some have been written by and/or maintained by outside contractors. Almost all of the distributed software is open-source licensed and freely available. Much of the software is written to run on multiple platforms, which includes Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

Web technologies are ever-advancing and the IT section is charged with employing state of the art technologies to enable easy access to DMC data and services, as well as improve the operational efficiency of maintaining web documentation, software downloads, and data access web applications.

Finally, the IT section plays a pivotal role in exploring new possibilities for DMC infrastructure, tools, and technologies. In the advancing realm of cloud computing, big data processing, and advanced networks, members of the IT section research, propose, and develop new breakthroughs that will allow the DMC to operate more efficiently and with higher growth potential.

Primary tasks

  • Migration of web servers and internal software to Red Hat Linux
  • Continued development of JWEED data visualization tool, now accessing web services
  • Continued development of PDCC metadata tool, now to supply command line features
  • Development of a new data quality assurance system called MUSTANG
  • Evaluation of IRIS DMC web design, content, and organization
  • Development of WILBER 3, which utilizes web services
  • Maintenance of intranet wikis, issue trackers, and mailing lists
  • Responding to mailing list requests, especially bulkmail
  • Administering Apache web servers and their configuration settings
  • Development of a new web content system using the latest in technologies
  • Continued development of rdseed and POD utilities for SEED processing
  • Maintenance of the evalresp, JEvalResp, and JPlotResp software
  • Maintenance of the Knowledge Base search engine for commonly asked questions
  • Publishing the DMS Newsletter and maintaining software and data access documentation
  • Cooperative development with the Data Management and Data Products and Services sections
  • Engagement with other IRIS Programs to satisfy technical needs
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