Named after one of Wyoming’s reservoirs on the North Platte River, Pathfinder is a low-cost, expandable storage solution that enables a cloud-like presence for research data hosted by ARCC. Its core functionality is hosting onsite backups as well as enabling data sharing and collaboration.
Pathfinder uses the Simple Storage Service (S3) protocol originally developed by Amazon. S3 works on object storage through a service called Ceph, provided by Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Pathfinder does not handle files like Windows or traditional storage systems. Pathfinder uses treats folder and files as buckets and objects. Instead of a file path, Pathfinder buckets are accessed via a URL, and instead of usernames and passwords, Pathfinder uses access keys and secret keys. These characteristics make Pathfinder uniquely suited to providing a cloud-like data repository.
On-premise, ARCC managed backup target for other ARCC services such as Alcova or Teton. Note that Pathfinder itself is not backed up.
Web-enabled S3 buckets for data storage, data transfer, etc.
Time-based token-authenticated links for file sharing. The S3 protocol allows users to make data publicly available with a tokenized link that will expire after a specified time-frame.
Publication of research data in partnership with UW Libraries.
The S3 protocol requires a client to connect to the server. There are a variety of Graphical User Interface (GUI) and Command Line Interface (CLI) clients that can be used to connect to Pathfinder. ARCC has tested a subset of these clients: