Intro to Emulation Environments

During this module, participants will learn about:

  • Why does the EaaSI team refer to emulation and computing “environments”?
  • What is an EaaSI “Environment” resource?
  • What sort of details do we need to describe and maintain environments?

Questions for Discussion/Reflection

  • In this module, we mention a number of different examples of metadata one might need or want to describe computer hardware. Can you think of a category we missed?
  • Think of a piece of software or an application you commonly used 1) 20 years ago, 2) 10 years ago, 3) 5 years ago. Would you be able to recreate or access each of those applications today? Why or why not?
  • If you work for a collecting institution – does your organization have a policy guiding use, re-use, or collection of computer hardware? If so, who writes and maintains that policy? Does it have any relation to policies guiding acquisition and maintenance of digital collections?

About EaaSI

The EaaSI program builds on previous work to apply the Emulation-as-a-Service (EaaS) framework for access and use of preserved software and digital objects. The project is focused on scaling the technological framework necessary for multiple institutions to configure, share, and access software and configured environments. EaaSI is focused on a distributed, community-driven architecture that sits on top of existing digital preservation infrastructure. This directly complements existing efforts by the Software Preservation Network and others to address key aspects of software preservation including legal advocacy, research about local software preservation needs, institutional capacity building for software preservation, collection development, professional development and training, and workflow recommendations.

About the EaaSI Training Module Series

The Training Module series will introduce important concepts in emulation and key features of the EaaSI platform. Every three months, a new training module will connect EaaSI functionality with specific use cases, highlighting a range of implementation scenarios. Phase 2 of the EaaSI program of work (July 2020 – June 2022) will include a series of Training Modules, with one new Module to be released approximately every three months (a total of eight by the conclusion of Phase 2). These Training Modules are intended to supplement and expand on concepts alluded to in the EaaSI User Handbook, opening the design and functionality of the platform to wider feedback, comment, and discussion. Though particular features and elements of interface design may change between releases of the EaaSI platform, these Modules should remain consistent in elaborating on our infrastructure.

Each Module contains: a slideshow presenting a core piece of Emulation-as-a-Service functionality and its relationship to EaaSI goals and use cases; a set of questions for practitioners to discuss and/or reflect; and recommended resources from the EaaSI team for further exploration of the topic. Modules are intended to stand on their own but be easily adaptable to an in-person or virtual workshop session.

Preferred citation:

Gates, Ethan. (2020, October 14). EaaSI Training Module: Emulation Environments. Software Preservation Network.