DICE & iRODS Consortium Collaborative Agreement

This agreement is being cross-posted along with the iRODS Consortium, the DICE Center, RENCI, and the Max Planck Society.

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DICE & iRODS Consortium Collaborative Agreement

Date: 05/31/2013

Objective

To ensure the long-term sustainability of iRODS as a community-driven, open-source technology that continues past current US federal funding, the DICE Center and the iRODS Consortium (formerly the E-iRODS Consortium) are announcing the following partnership and roadmap for future releases of iRODS.

iRODS Today

The iRODS software has been downloaded by groups in at least 39 countries and by 62 academic institutions within the US. iRODS now manages collections that together include multiple millions of data objects and many petabytes of storage. Adoption continues to increase in academic, industry, and federal sectors and the application of iRODS in different domains has continued to grow. iRODS is now a cornerstone technology for NSF efforts to build a national data-sharing infrastructure for research. Several groups, including the DICE research team, are now looking at innovative ways to improve iRODS as a best-of-breed data technology through new research and development.

Increased adoption in industry, academics, and federal settings requires increased efforts devoted to maintenance and support. In addition, there will be an increased need to integrate iRODS with other technologies, to incorporate new technologies and methodologies, and to continue to incorporate new research in policy-driven data management. The current model of reliance on U.S. federal grants is recognized as insufficient to respond to these needs.

iRODS in Future

Successful open-source software models provide reliable software to the community while ensuring community contributions to the software are encouraged and ensuring that the investments of users who have adopted the technology are protected. In partnering, DICE and the iRODS Consortium will continue to provide iRODS as open-source software and will continue to support contributions from the community. Through this partnership, iRODS adopters will be able to use the Consortium to ensure the iRODS technology continues to be managed and supported, to ensure access to support and consulting, and to ensure the software evolves to meet their needs. The Consortium will be able to support the DICE team in their continuing efforts to improve the iRODS technology through new innovations and to apply the technology in sponsored applications.

Roadmap and Release Plan and Strategy

iRODS 3.4: targeted for late 2013. This release will combine features and fixes from 3.3 iRODS and 3.0 E-iRODS. The iRODS Consortium, in partnership with DICE, will be responsible for maintaining and patching the 3.4 release, as well as for management of subsequent iRODS releases.

iRODS 3.5: targeted for mid 2014. For 3.5, we aim to transition to a fully pluggable architecture to facilitate the release of extensions that can be developed and deployed independent of new iRODS distributions. The DICE team will partner with the iRODS Consortium in releasing extensions and patches for application to DICE-awarded grants.

All releases will remain open-source to facilitate community contributions and support additional distributions. To facilitate this direction, Dr. Reagan Moore and Dr. Arcot Rajasekar will serve as Principal Scientists in the iRODS Consortium to provide technical and scientific guidance. Antoine de Torcy of the DICE team has joined the iRODS Consortium as a staff member to aid with development of the 3.4 and subsequent releases.

This means that the future integrated pluggable iRODS architecture will serve the different community needs: with Consortium-supported production versions (which contain bug fixes, new Consortium driven features and community contributions of general importance), as well as pluggable extensions, either through DICE supported features and bug fixes for ongoing grants, or through community contributions (“as they are”) as in the past.

It is the recommendation of this partnership that production usage of iRODS migrate to Consortium-supported distributions to ensure that long-term support and responsiveness to production needs can be provided.

For further details see: https://www.irods.org and http://irods-consortium.org

Reagan Moore, PhD
Director, DICE Center and Foundation
RENCI Chief Scientist
iRODS Consortium Executive Board Member
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Stan Ahalt, PhD
Director, RENCI
iRODS Consortium Executive Board Member
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Stefan Heinzel, PhD
Director, Rechenzentrum Garching
iRODS Consortium Executive Board Member
Max Planck Society


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