Virtual research environments provide an easy access to e-Infrastructures for researchers by creating an abstracted service-oriented layer on top of the available resources. Using the portal, researchers can focus on the research workflow and data analysis while being provided with a consolidated unified view of all tools necessary for their activities. The sustainable lifecycle of a virtual research environment can only be achieved if it is going to be used with high quality of experience by a large body of users. Aiming for this goal, in this paper we analyse the requirements and implementation of a cross-community virtual research environment that brings together researchers from three different domains. Promoting interdisciplinary research and cooperation, the federated virtual research environment is based on the service orientation paradigm, offering anything as a service solutions. Thus, the main pillar for a successful implementation of this solution is the careful design and management of the underlying elementary services and service compositions. The rest of the paper discusses the challenges of the service management implementation focusing on interoperability by design and service management standards.