About e-infrastructure

The deployment of powerful computers, high-speed networks, and large scale storage technologies has made the academic and research landscape increasingly dynamic. The focus is on organically growing infrastructure that supports production, storage, and shared access to information, via cloud and grid computing, by providing services and tools for data management and digital curation.

Our distributed team brings you their expertise and consultative support. If you have questions, want more details, or want to explore ideas on how to use our resources, please contact us.

Web 2.0 technologies offer great advantages in communication and collaboration to support the research process, the management of data outputs and the sharing of scientific knowledge products for distinct knowledge domains.

A  basic component of the e-Infrastructure is the Virtual Research Environment  (VRE), dedicated to provide a unique platform fully customised to the needs and goals of each research group at UKZN, comprising  staff, students and third parties, whether representatives of civil society or international partners.


What is a VRE?


"A VRE is a set of online tools, systems and processes interoperating to facilitate or enhance the research process within and without institutional boundaries. The purpose of a VRE is to provide researchers with the tools and services they need to do research of any type as efficiently and effectively as possible. This means VREs will help individual researchers manage the increasingly complex range of tasks involved in doing research. In addition [VREs] will facilitate collaboration among communities of researchers, often across disciplinary and national boundaries."
(Definition offered by the
OST e-Infrastructure Working Group.)

The implementation of the VRE is a set of tightly coupled research tools and services, but a further component of the e-Infrastructure architecture redeploys the VRE as loosely coupled grid services. The integrated Grid/Web-based services allow researchers and learners to run simulation and data analysis on a scale not otherwise possible


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