iRODS Overview


May, 2016


• (Re-)Introduction


• What is iRODS?


• Getting Started


• How iRODS Is Used


• Future Directions


• Discussion




Jason Coposky

Interim Executive Director



iRODS is free, open source software owned by a foundation called the iRODS Consortium.

  • 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

The iRODS Consortium and Sustainability

Contract Customers

and more ...

Meet the Team

What is iRODS?

          Policy-Based Data Management

The Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System:

• Open Source

• Manages data for indefinite lifespan

• Metadata and event-triggered rules


Designed to work with big, important, and/or complex data


Example applications:

   • Combining data from multiple sources

   • Annotation and search

   • Tiered storage

   • Preservation

   • Sharing in place












  Data Virtualization




  Data Discovery




  Workflow Automation




  Secure Collaboration

          The Four Pillars

← all your storage in a single namespace

← system and user-generated metadata

← event-driven and scheduled cron  policies


iRODS Clients

• Web-based and Standalone GUIs

  - iRODS Cloud Browser, MetaLnx, Kanki, Cyberduck


• Portals, External Systems

  - iPlant Discovery Environment, Islandora, Fedora Commons


• WebDAV for drag-and-drop access built in to the OS

• APIs: Python, REST, Qt, Java, C++

• Command Line Interface

Getting Started

User Group Meeting

June 7-9, 2016

Chapel Hill, NC

Initial Trial

  • Google Group
  • Blog posts, social media
  • Cloud images
  • Documentation
  • Training workshops
  • iRODS Hub: The iRODS App Store

Proof of Concept to Pilot

  • Occasional 1-on-1 Support
  • iRODS Consortium Members
  • iRODS Partners
  • iRODS Consortium Service Contracts


  • iRODS Consortium Membership

Building Community and Demonstrating Value

Getting Plugged In with iRODS...

How iRODS Is Used

User Profile: NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center

• 2 PB of archived satellite data

• Publicly available, subsetting on demand

• In-house ingest and archiving software: ANGe (Archive Next Generation)

Virtual Collections


ls –l


Visibility determined by "visibility attribute"

Logical collection of files spread across physical storage resources.

Single Interface to Multiple Clients


WebDAV, FUSE, Web UI, Cyberduck

REST, Python, R, Java C++

(And more!)










User Profile:

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

• Viral Vector Core creates designer viruses:

    request⟶transfection and amplification⟶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

User Profile: University College London

• Repository for research data that spans social science, physics, and genomics

• UK sponsored research requirements: last date of access request plus 10 years

• iRODS spans storage technologies and enables federated access from other centres

User Profile: Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

• Key genomics research centre

• 7 PB of storage managed by iRODS

Rich Metadata


attribute: library

attribute: total_reads

attribute: type

attribute: lane

attribute: is_paired_read

attribute: study_accession_number

attribute: library_id

attribute: sample_accession_number

attribute: sample_public_name

attribute: manual_qc

attribute: tag

attribute: sample_common_name

attribute: md5


Replication and Federation
















User Profile: CyVerse

User Profile: Antelope RTS Sensor Integration

Future Directions

iRODS 4.2 and Beyond

In Parallel

• Reference implementations, plugins, clients


iRODS 4.2

• Pluggable Rule Engine: Automation in Python, any language; provability

• Cleaner install and configuration

• Continued advancement of enterprise message bus


iRODS 4.3

• Maintenance Release


iRODS 4.4

• Universal Metadata Access (GQV2)

• Next Generation API

• Pluggable Transport



• Advanced Zone Management

• Plugin Registry



Thank You!

Jason Coposky



iRODS Overview

By jason coposky

iRODS Overview

Meet the iRODS team. Learn how we're talking about iRODS. Learn what we're doing. Learn where we're going.

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