DuraSpace is collaborating with Digital Divide Data (DDD), a non-profit social enterprise creating sustainable digital and  technology jobs for disadvantaged, underprivileged, and underserved youth communities worldwide.

DDD provides technical training for youth by partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Together they formed a Cloud Academy in Nairobi, Kenya in January 2017 with a goal to teach AWS cloud competencies and skills that are globally credentialed and certified. The training gives graduates access to employment opportunities in cloud computing through DDD’s Cloud Computing service for non-profits, universities, and cultural heritage organizations.

In the summer of 2017, DDD and DuraSpace met to consider how to leverage existing open source software products and services to provide practical work experience for students of the Cloud Academy. The group decided to begin with a project to explore how to improve the deployment and administration of the DSpaceDirect service offered by DuraSpace on AWS infrastructure.

Over seven months, a joint team worked together on the project with DuraSpace providing mentoring and guidance.  The DDD team built out a new architecture in AWS for the deployment of DSpaceDirect, including load balancing, use of an elastic file system, and managed database services. Over the coming months, this work will be reviewed, tested, and incrementally integrated into the DSpaceDirect service.

DuraSpace’s Services Technical Director, Bill Branan, had an opportunity to meet two of the Cloud Academy engineers involved in the project at the AWS conference in October, 2017.

“Hearing the stories of where these students started their journey, and all the work they have done as part of the DDD program to establish technical proficiency, provides a startling glimpse at the wealth of talent that is available if we are only willing to look. DDD is doing an incredible job of finding students who are eager to learn and providing them with the training they need to succeed. I look forward to continued work with DDD, to further both the DuraSpace and DDD missions.”

As the project wraps up, the team is documenting the new architecture and developing cost estimates for implementation as part of the DSpaceDirect service. DuraSpace and DDD are also discussing new ways to collaborate.

To learn more about the Cloud Academy and hear from students about the experience, we invite you to watch this video or get in touch Sameer Raina, 1-201-600-6749, sameer.raina@digitaldividedata.com. Similarly, you can contact info@duraspace.org with questions about this project.