The Community Right to Replicate

The Right to Replicate gives communities the right to replicate their infrastructure in its entirety elsewhere, with or without 2i2c.

This document describes 2i2c’s commitment to a community’s “right to replicate”, and how this translates into specific infrastructure commitments from 2i2c. We make these commitments because we believe that using infrastructure that follows these principles will lead to a more fair, just, equitable world. We also believe they are the right foundation for more productive and impactful research and education.

2i2c is committed to running its own infrastructure on open-source tools and vendor-agnostic infrastructure, though it does not force users to use only open-source tools in their own environments, code, and data. Below is a table describing how the Right to Replicate fits into 2i2c hub technology.

(Definitions of MUST, MUST NOT, SHOULD, MAY, etc are defined in RFC 2119 )

User Code and DataMay be Open SourceWe encourage adopting and producing open source code and data, but this is up to the user.
e.g., licenses for user content/code
User EnvironmentShould be Open SourceStrong preference for open source tools only, although in some cases user needs may override this.
e.g., Python, R, PyData stack.
2i2c InfrastructureMust be Open SourceStrong commitment to using only open source software.
e.g., JupyterHub, Kubernetes, Postgresql
Cloud Provider InfrastructureMust be PortableSee this blog post for more information.

Below we describe our commitments in our own infrastructure stack in more detail.

How 2i2c infrastructure ensures this right #

2i2c infrastructure and documentation for it MUST BE as transparent & accessible as possible, so communities can replicate our configuration without having to extract any ‘secret sauce’ from 2i2c. If they choose to, they can also inspect, audit & modify the infrastructure they are paying for and using.

To ensure the Right to Replicate to our communities, 2i2c makes the following commitments to infrastructure we build and operate:

  1. We MUST use only open source software to run our infrastructure. By only using software that is available to everyone on the same terms, we can ensure that communities can replicate the infrastructure without having to negotiate licensing terms with proprietary software vendors. In addition, any changes we make to open source software will be made in public and/or contributed upstream, so communities continue to have access to them regardless of where their infrastructure is.

  2. We MUST NOT directly depend on proprietary cloud vendor specific products or APIs. Instead, we use cloud-managed open source software, or hide the dependency behind a layer of abstraction. This ensures that communities can port their infrastructure to any cloud provider of their choice, or run it on their own hardware with purely open source software.

This set of commitments acts as a business continuity plan for our partner communities, ensuring 2i2c will follow best practices within the open source, open education and open research ecosystems.