System Requirements for RSpace (for System Admins)

The following information is only applicable to an on-premises Enterprise instance of RSpace. If you are considering using a SaaS version of RSpace (RSpace Team, or RSpace Enterprise hosted on AWS), we take care of all this setup.

Introduction

This page lists the fundamental components of the RSpace application, and the software/hardware system setup needed.

RSpace is a web-based application, so end-users can access all functionality through their browsers and no software installation by users is necessary.

RSpace Components

  1. A Java web application packaged as .war web application file (provided by RSpace).
  2. An Apache Tomcat or similar web application server capable of running Java web applications (installed by host).
  3. A MySQL database server (installed by host).
  4. A database initialization script (provided by RSpace).
  5. A Filestore for storing media or other binary files uploaded into RSpace (provided by host). This should be a regular file directory, mounted on a separate drive from the system drive to facilitate OS updates and backup.

Software Requirements for the Web Server

  • Ubuntu 20 LTS, or Debian 11 is preferred. RedHat 8.3 is possible.
  • Java SDK version 11, openJDK-based build.
  • Apache web server v2.4. RSpace must be configured to support HTTPS using Apache ssl modules
  • Apache Tomcat 9.x
  • MariaDB 10.3 (Ubuntu 20). RSpace does not yet run on MySQL 8. For small deployments of < 100 users this can be on the webserver; for larger deployments we recommend a dedicated database server.
  • The above components are on standard packages in Ubuntu 20LTS and Debian 10.
  • All of these can be installed by the customer IT team but remote install by our technicians is strongly recommended.
  • We supply an auxiliary Java application to run on the server to perform document conversions to/from MSOffice format.
  • If you want us to do a full end-to-end installation, we just require a standard OS on the server and we will install all required software.

Hardware Requirements

  • A Linux-based server with at least 8Gb RAM ( Ubuntu and RedHat Linux are all known to work; we expect other mainstream Linux distributions to work as well). For larger installs ( > 100 users) we would recommend setting up two additional servers - one for the database and one for additional microservices.
    WebServer: accept incoming HTTP requests on port 80 and HTTPS requests on port 443
    DatabaseServer: can be on private network, with port 3306 open to WebServer. 8Gb RAM recommended initially.

MicroserviceServer: can be on private network, with ports 8081-8099 accepting incoming HTTP requests from WebServer. 4GB RAM is sufficient initially

Here is a very rough estimation of required resources for the main web server, based on our experience managing AWS t2/t3 instances

Number of users

Recommended RAM (Gb)

Recommended CPUs

< 50

8 ( t2.large)

2-4

50-250

16 ( t2.xlarge)

4-8

250 - 5000

32 ( t2.2xlarge)

8

  • Sufficient file storage, writable from the web application, to store files uploaded by end users. The default Filestore is a simple file-system accessible from the web server; RSpace just needs to be told the top-level folder of the file-system. The amount of storage depends hugely on the type of research and the users' work and usage of RSpace. Here is a rough estimate based on current usage.

Number of users

Initial storage requirements

for setup and initial few months' usage

Storage should scale

<50

50Gb

1Gb/person/year

50-250

250Gb

1Gb/person/year

250 - 5000

250GB to 1Tb

1Gb/person/year

  • Sufficient disk space for MySQL database; as a rough initial estimate, 10-50Mb per user should be ample to begin with since files and raw data are stored on the filestore, not in the database. The database makes many IO operations. Ideally an SSD drive provides best performance.
  • For performance, the minimal performance should be comparable to that of AWS's t2.medium instance, which is our standard server used for up to 50 users. Here is a test of cpu and i/o performance using sysbench on an AWS t2.medium with standard gp2 SSD drive. Performance should be comparable to this for a minimal install.
    > sysbench --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=20000 run
    CPU speed:
        events per second:   354.18
    General statistics:
        total time:                          10.0012s
        total number of events:              3543
    Latency (ms):
             min:                                  2.80
             avg:                                  2.82
             max:                                  4.13
             95th percentile:                      2.86
             sum:                               9990.64

> sysbench --test=fileio --file-total-size=5G prepare

> sysbench --test=fileio --file-total-size=5G --file-test-mode=rndrw  --max-time=300 --max-requests=0 run

File operations:

    reads/s:                      111.85

    writes/s:                     74.57

    fsyncs/s:                     238.22

Throughput:

    read, MiB/s:                  1.75

    written, MiB/s:               1.17

General statistics:

    total time:                          300.3919s

    total number of events:              127559

Latency (ms):

         min:                                  0.00

         avg:                                  2.35

         max:                               1426.36

         95th percentile:                      4.10

         sum:                             300047.73

Threads fairness:

    events (avg/stddev):           127559.0000/0.00

    execution time (avg/stddev):   300.0477/0.00

Other components

  1. RSpace sends emails notifications to users, so access to a mail server is required. We can provide an email relay service.
  2. RSpace will only run over HTTPS. Therefore, installation of a valid SSL certificate is required. Our staff can generate a CSR from the server once we have access to it.
  3. RSpace uses additional software components to generate in-browser previews of MSOffice files and DNA sequence files - see Installation of RSpace add-on services for details.
  4. If you would like RSpace to connect to your SingleSignOn mechanism, extra configuration is needed - please see Setting up SingleSignOn authentication.

Browser Requirements for End-Users

A modern, Javascript-enabled browser is essential for the HTML5 Canvas elements we use for sketching and image annotation. We aim to support current versions of Safari, Firefox and Chrome no more than 2 years old. RSpace may also work with newest versions of MS Edge, (now that it is Chromium-based), and other browsers like Opera, Brave and Chromium without issue, but we do not specifically support these. Please note we do not support older versions of Internet Explorer and will not address issues specific to this browser.

Starting, stopping, and restarting your RSpace server

RSpace is gracefully stopped or started using the command line to stop and start tomcat. The details can vary depending on your OS, and where and how tomcat was installed on your server. If you look for the installation file that came with your server (called something like: RSpaceConfiguration.md) you will see that the command for starting and stopping RSpace servers gracefully is provided there. If you are not comfortable with using the command line for this sort of task, you probably should ask for help from your University IT team or email Research Space support at support@researchspace.com.


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