iRODS Overview


The Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) is open source data management software used by research organizations and government agencies worldwide. iRODS is supported and maintained by the iRODS Consortium at RENCI, a research institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), in partnership with the Data Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) Center at UNC-CH.

The result of almost 20 years and $25M of funded research from more than 30 projects, iRODS is now released as a production-level distribution aimed at deployment in mission critical environments.  iRODS virtualizes data storage resources, so users can take control of their data, regardless of where and on what device the data is stored. As data volumes grow and data services become more complex, iRODS is increasingly important in data management. The development infrastructure supports exhaustive testing on supported platforms; plug-in support for microservices, storage resources, drivers, and databases; and extensive documentation, training, and support services.

Benefits of iRODS

  • iRODS enables data discovery using a metadata catalog that describes every file, every directory, and every storage resource in the data grid.
  • iRODS automates data workflows, with a rule engine that permits any action to be initiated by any trigger on any server or client in the grid.
  • iRODS enables secure collaboration, so users only need to log in to their home grid to access data hosted on a remote grid.
  • iRODS implements data virtualization, allowing access to distributed storage assets under a unified namespace, and freeing organizations from getting locked in to single-vendor storage solutions.

The latest iRODS release is 4.0.3. Packaged binaries and source code are available here. iRODS is released under a 3-clause BSD license.

DICE and the iRODS Consortium also support the legacy release 3.3.1. Documentation for this earlier release is available on the Legacy Wiki page under the Documentation tab.

The iRODS Consortium is tasked with ensuring the sustainability of the iRODS technology and providing a mechanism for uniting members of similar interest in the success and sustainability of iRODS.

Want to learn more about iRODS? Check out some of our presentations and whitepapers.