N4U Architecture



The N4U infrastructure is composed of different layers as shown in the following figure:







User Level
On the top of the structure, the User Level, there are the Specific Support Center (SSC) and the Virtual Laboratory.
The SSC gives support and provides training to users. In the Virtual Laboratory users will find data, algorithms, computational resources, statistical tools, and appropriate help in a user-friendly environment.
The Virtual Laboratory is composed of:
- A Science Gateway that allows users to access to N4U services through two different accounts: basic and premium. The science gateway offers an intuitive and customizable environment to run complex analysis.
- A set of integrated data resources coming from both the project partners' and external users' datasets.  
- A set of integrated services that enable users to access and orchestrate the neuGRID underlying resources, algorithms and pipelines.
 - An Analysis Service Work Area where users can run their own analyses by refining data and tool selections.
- Access to a Specific Support Center that provides users with training materials, e-learning opportunities, active support and other educational materials.


Distributed Computing Infrastructure (DCI)


It is composed of 3 Tiers:
Tier 1: It is the core of the infrastructure. It is made up of different computing nodes, strategically placed, which provide Grid resources and a set of integrated services.

Tier 2: It connects other large international initiatives (e.g.: LONI, CBRAIN) to N4U augmenting its capacity.

Tier 3: This level opens the pathway to new projects/contracts from the private sector, such as SMEs and pharmaceutical industries, which are potentially interested in accessing the N4U environment for pre-clinical studies or even markers' assessments. The Tier3 relies on private cloud computing resources.

These 3 Tiers are coordinated by the Grid Coordination Centre (GCC) and the Data Coordination Centre (DCC). The DCC operates as the "coordinator of coordinators" by organizing the development and standardisation of data acquisition, quality control and analysis procedures and by monitoring N4U-wide data collection. The GCC is in charge of hosting, maintaining up and running the grid middleware information system services. These services are the cornerstones of the grid. They provide the inner mechanics of the distributed infrastructure.