News / 19 June 2019

University of Colorado Boulder Research Computing joins iRODS Consortium

The iRODS Consortium, the foundation that leads development and support of the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) data management software, welcomes University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) Research Computing as its newest Consortium member.

CU Boulder Research Computing provides computing and data beyond the desktop to CU Boulder researchers and students. This includes large-scale computing resources, storage of research data, high-speed data transfer, data sharing support, and consultations in computational science and data management.

iRODS is free open source software for data discovery, workflow automation, secure collaboration, and data virtualization used by research and business organizations around the globe. By creating a unified namespace and a metadata catalog of all the data and users within the storage environment, the iRODS rule engine framework allows users to automate data management.

"CU Boulder brings a unique use case to the iRODS Consortium," said Jason Coposky, Executive Director, iRODS Consortium. "Whereas data quotas are usually implemented per data storage technology, CU Boulder aims to implement a logical quota system that is based on the usage of data within particular collections, in other words, limiting the number of data objects that are allowed to reside in a data collection based on metadata and the size of the collection. We believe iRODS is well positioned to meet this unique need."

CU Boulder Research Computing plans to use iRODS to centrally manage the allocation of its data storage resources while also supporting the specific metadata requirements established by various user groups. Ultimately, they hope iRODS can be used to abstract the data storage namespace from the underlying storage infrastructure such that changes to the infrastructure will remain largely invisible to end users.

Jonathon Anderson, Associate Director of Research Computing Technology at CU Boulder, expressed his hope that iRODS will become the primary interface to CU Boulder’s storage infrastructure and allow users to benefit from community standards for data management.

"I consider it a primary value for us to support the development of open and community-focused infrastructure," said Anderson. "We are a consortium member primarily towards assuring we would have incident and break/fix support in our production iRODS environment, but also to support the continued development and support of an environment that we are adopting as a dependency."

The iRODS Consortium guides development and support of iRODS, along with providing production-ready iRODS distribution and iRODS professional integration services, training, and support. The consortium is administered by founding member RENCI, a research institute for applications of cyberinfrastructure located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Upcoming releases of the software will offer full text indexing and data publication capabilities, Coposky noted.

In addition to CU Boulder Research Computing, current members of the iRODS Consortium include Bayer, Cloudian, DataDirect Networks, Maastricht University, MSC, the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NetApp, Quantum, RENCI, SURF, the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, SUSE, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), University College London, University of Groningen, Utrecht University, the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and Western Digital.

To learn more about CU Boulder Research Computing, please visit

Anne Johnson