RENCI created the iRODS Consortium to work with universities, research organizations, businesses, and government agencies to guide the continued development of iRODS, obtain funding to support that development, and broaden the iRODS user community. Consortium members receive a variety of benefits, including prioritized access to support, training, and consulting and the opportunity to influence the developmental roadmap of future software releases, thus providing both adopters and resellers of iRODS and other iRODS-based data middleware technologies a way to protect their investments.  Current consortium members include RENCI, the Max Planck Society, DataDirect Networks, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, EMC, and the DICE research group.  In April, 2014, the iRODS Consortium announced the release of iRODS 4.0, a sustainable and production-oriented version of the iRODS (integrated Rule-Oriented Data System) data management platform.

iRODS is a popular, highly configurable, open source technology used in high-demand production sites around the world for data management, sharing and integration. It was originally developed by the Data Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) group at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). iRODS Consortium software developers at UNC’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), in collaboration with the DICE group, continue to develop and maintain iRODS, resulting in the 4.0 release.

“This is a major release that brings enterprise-quality production, using industry-accepted best practices for development and testing, to the open source data management community,” said Brand Fortner, PhD, executive director of the iRODS Consortium. “iRODS 4.0 is easy to install, easier to use, and makes iRODS a suitable data management solution for a much wider group of customers.”

Key features of the new iRODS release include:

  • A plugin architecture, which enables easy customization of iRODS installations without recompiling the core code.
  • A binary distribution, allowing users to click and use iRODS, eliminating the need to compile the installation.
  • Resource composition, which allows users to create a hierarchy of iRODS resources.

The 4.0 release merges what was previously known as the iRODS community version with the version of iRODS developed at RENCI, called E-iRODS. The Consortium will assist users of all previous versions of iRODS in their transition to iRODS 4.0, said Fortner.

For more on iRODS and to download iRODS 4.0, visit www.irods.org.