What is iRODS?

iRODS, the Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) is an open-source data management software. With iRODS you control the secure sharing of data, metadata management and workflow automation, ensuring that you can comply with the data management policies of your institution. At SURF, we offer three services based on iRODS - iRODS hosting, iRODS Scale out and Yoda; the details can be found here

What is iCE?

Researchers/supporters need a FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) Research Data Management (RDM) service which is powerful and flexible. At the same time, there must be a low entry barrier with respect to technological knowledge, and it must be economic in human and financial resources. iRODS based solutions offered at SURF are instances that dedicated to an institute/university. However, there is naturally also a need for RDM solutions for small(er) group of researchers for whom the dedicated instance is not a viable solution. Hence, iRODS Community Edition (iCE) is a Proof of Concept that will offer a shared (community) iRODS instance to multiple independent research groups, each of which would have their own secured project space.

iRODS Community Edition (iCE) - A platform to manage your data through research life cycle

It provides the following components:

  1. Easy authentication via SRAM (SURF member institutions already have access)
  2. Secured collaboration space where researchers/supporters can work on their data (individual as well as collaboratively)
  3. Researchers/supporters can invite collaborators and organize themselves in groups and control data access (full freedom and control over "user and group management" and setting permissions on different datasets)
  4. Data is stored safely on multiple storage backends in a cost-effective manner (automated storage 'tiering' with tape backend), but this is transparent to the researcher/supporters i.e., they get access to a unified data storage without having to worry about where the data is physically located
  5. Metadata for data discovery - researchers/supporters can quickly and easily set metadata on the data themselves

How can you benefit from iCE?

A large wealth of iRODS data management functionality and flexibility is available to the researchers/supporters to manage data across different SURF storage services in a cost efficient and effective manner. The shared instance dramatically reduces the maintenance overhead for the research groups (with SURF taking care of the overarching policies) and costs. Furthermore, the setup of a new project space is simplified through various functionalities making it efficient, so researchers/supporters only need to be concerned with learning to run their day to day activities to get started. 

Would you like to try it out?

We are currently in proof of concept phase and looking for interested users to pilot the service, who do not have access to Institute based iRODS solutions. If you would like try it out, we can get you up and running without obligation and will gladly take your feedback on board. Please contact us by writing to servicedesk@surf.nl

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