IRODS (integrated Rule Oriented Data Systems)
iRODS software was designed to allow curators utilising heterogeneous storage and computing facilities to define policies without being concerned with the technical detail of how the system implements those policies and without having to respond to changes in technical infrastructure. It was built as a successor to the DICE Storage Resource Broker (SRB), which provides a unified interface for dealing with data in disparate locations. While SRB provides global, logical mappings to the digital entities registered in a shared collection, iRODS takes this further, adding the capacity to create unified administrative policies and processes, which act across all data sources. The system creates a virtual collection, allowing the user to interact with their stored data without needing to keep track of, or even have ultimate control over, the storage and computing facilities hosting the information.
The Data Intensive Cyber Environments Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California San Diego
Licensing and cost
BSD License – free.
iRODS 3.3 was released on July 17, 2013. The Data Intensive Cyberinfrastructure Foundation is a nonprofit 301(c)(3); iRODS development is ongoing.
Platform and interoperability
iRODS is hardware agnostic, and its servers can run on Linux, Solaris, Macintosh, AIX, or Windows. The iCAT Metadata Catalog requires either PostgreSQL (which is included in the install package), Oracle, or MySQL. It includes APIs in C, Unix shell, Java, Python, Kepler, Taverna, and Web. iRODS is interoperable with other data management systems, such as Fedora and Dspace.
iRODS uses a data grid architecture, running Server software and a Rule Engine on each server that will become part of the virtual repository. A separate, unique iRODS iCAT Metadata Catalog uses a database to track descriptive and preservation metadata. Users determine workflows and automated tasks that the Rule Engine carries out regardless of the originating server. When upgrading from iRODS 2.5 to 3.0, a patch to the iCAT database is required in support of new features. The 3.0 clients will work properly with a 2.5 server except when a new feature is involved.
Documentation and user support
iRODS has an extensive wiki, which includes a user guide, an installation guide, and numerous tutorials. There is an active chat community through the iRODS-Chat google group. The site also hosts a Bugzilla page.
iRODS provides GUI, Web, WebDAV, and command line interfaces.
Installation and configuration greatly benefit from system administration and grid computing knowledge, as well as a deep understanding of repository structures and workflows.
No information available.
Influence and take-up
iRODS is widely used in the research community, in high performance computing projects, and in preservation environments and digital libraries. Examples include the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), the NSF TeraGrid, the National Archives Transcontinental Persistent Archives Prototype (NARA TPAP), and the French National Library. A list of collaborators can be found at: https://www.irods.org/index.php/Collaborators