The CERF ELN system consists of the CERF server, where your data is kept, and any number of CERF clients, which allow users to create, access, import, export, and annotate your data records. For best performance and long-term stability we recommend that the server be installed on a physical machine on your site, but you can also choose a virtual or cloud based host of your choice. The server consists of the CERF server application, the secure file store (where attached data files are kept in their native format) and a referential SQL database that ties the whole system together. Key CERF architecture features include the fact that CERF is a modular, extensible product based on open industry standards. Open standards make CERF easy to connect to other systems and ensure that the product is highly sustainable. CERF has a clear update path stretching far into the future, linked to industry trends. Modules and IT technologies that become outdated can be updated and modules incorporating new technologies can be easily added.