National Archives Applied Research

integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS)

iRODS is an open source data management system that helps researchers, archivists and others manage (organize, share, protect, and preserve) large sets of geographically dispersed computer files. The system is designed to maximize infrastructure independence. It will run under most operating systems and provides a number of options for many of the major components of the system, such as the client used to access the system or the database used for the metadata catalog.

One of the most powerful features of iRODS is the ability to use rules to automatically enforce archival policies. The archivist can, for example, specify what the system should do if a virus is detected in one of the files in a new transfer of records (e.g., quarantine the file, notify an archivist to look at the file, delete the file, or delete the entire collection and send a note asking for a replacement transfer.) The archivist has more flexibility in how files are handled than is found in most digital repositories.

The software is extremely scalable. Collections can range in size from a few thousand to a hundred million files or more. The software can run on a laptop or a supercomputer and anything in between.

  • Open source distributed data management system
  • Flexibility
    • User-defined rules to automatically enforce archival policies
    • Customizable workflows
  • Scalability
    • Collections from a few thousand to a hundred million files or more
    • Software can run on a laptop or a supercomputers

NCAST has used iRODS to develop the Transcontinental Persistent Archives Prototype (TPAP) test bed, and iRODS is currently being used to develop the next generation test bed called CI-BER, the CyberInfrastructure for Billions of Electronic Records.

Use this URL for more information about using and downloading the iRODS software: