South Big Data Hub

Data Sharing and Infrastructure Working Group


iRODS Demo and Discussion

September 30, 2016

Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)

Chapel Hill, NC

Terrell Russell, Ph.D.


Acting Chief Technologist, iRODS Consortium


iRODS is open source

data management software.

The iRODS Consortium and Sustainability

  • Goal is to sustain iRODS as free open source software by:

         ▹ Building good software.  ​▹ Growing the iRODS community.  ▹ Demonstrating value.


  • Funds a team of 10+ developers, application engineers, documentation, support staff

Contract Customers

and more...

The Four Pillars

Storage Virtualization

Data Discovery

Workflow Automation

Secure Collaboration

all your storage in a single namespace

← system and user-generated metadata

← event-driven and scheduled cron policies

← federation

Building Good Software

Modular, Maintainable Code



  • C++14
  • Clang
  • CMake


Plugin Interfaces

  • Microservices
  • Storage Resources
  • Authentication
  • Network
  • Database
  • API
  • Rule Engine
  • Transport (iRODS 4.3)

Agile Software Development



  • Continuous Integration
  • Topology
  • Federation



  • Liked
  • Learned
  • Lacked
  • Longed For

Use Cases

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

  • single-sign on, durability, HPC, metadata


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

  • regularized workflow, reports, billing


NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center

  • storage migration, publication, federation


University College London

  • tiering, retention

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Sanger - Federation

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

  • Creating designer viruses:
    • request > transfection and amplification > QC > sample delivery > reports
  • Uses iRODS to combine, organize, and analyze sets of requests and instrument results
  • Produces packaged results in response to researcher requests
  • Quarterly cost reports for chargeback and trend analysis for quality control

NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center

University College London

  • Repository for research data that spans social science to physics to genomics
  • UK sponsored research requirements: last date of access request plus 10 years
  • iRODS spans data storage technologies and enables federated access from other centers


Command Line Interface iCommands
Desktop Clients Kanki, Cyberduck
Web Clients Cloud Browser, MetaLnx
File System Integration Davrods, NFS-RODS, Fuse
Client Libraries C/C++, Java, Python, R

Thank you!



Terrell Russell

South BD Hub - Demo and Discussion

By iRODS Consortium

South BD Hub - Demo and Discussion

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