Global Namespace: SRB creates and maintains a Global Namespace across multiple heterogeneous and distributed storage systems, data centers, and administrative domains. The Global Namespace, also referred to as a Logical Namespace, is an organization of all Collections, sub-Collections, Virtual Collections, and Data Objects in an SRB Federation, independent of their physical storage infrastructure.
Information Repository Virtualization: The information repository (or MCAT) where the Federation's metadata is stored is transparently accessed and managed by SRB. This allows for a seamless exchange of the underlying information repository over time. Currently there is support in SRB for a number of different relational databases. The entire information repository can be exported and imported using XML. SRB dynamically generates SQL to perform various operations on the MCAT.
Storage Virtualization: The underlying technologies for storing data change rapidly every few years. SRB makes it transparent to its clients which particular storage technology underlies an SRB environment. For SRB Users and applications, it is no longer necessary to "remember" a server's host name, IP address, operating system, access protocol, or even whether a system is an archival storage system or a cache system. SRB hides those complexities and alleviates data storage complications by defining a common set of operations for manipulating data through its drivers.
- Data Virtualization: Data within the SRB Federation is virtualized through a mapping mechanism from the physical path to a logical name within SRB. Every Data Object in SRB has its unique global identifier that is independent from the physical data path. SRB takes the approach of associating any metadata such as access control lists, audit trails, checksums, or user-level metadata with the logical name (or global identifier). This enables the SRB to function across heterogeneous and distributed storage systems.
In the case that an SRB User does not know the logical name of a Data Object, data can be discovered and accessed solely through an object's attributes (creation date, size, frequency of access, latitude, longitude, keywords, projects, authors, etc.).