CI-BER project plans to store billions of electronic records

The result of a recent three-way partnership between The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Cyberinfrastructure for Billions of Electronic Records project (CI-BER) held its official kickoff meeting on Thursday, October 28, 2010 in Chapel Hill.

One of the first federally-funded projects of its kind to bring the benefits of social media and public reports of its progress via a blogging format, CI-BER will create master copies of NARA’s Center for Advanced Systems and Technologies’ testbed collections of electronic records and  store them at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

CI-BER involves research partnerships between the School of Information and Library Science (SILS), the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) and the Data Intensive Computing Environments (DICE) Center, as well as with staff at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). SILS professor Richard Marciano, leads the UNC portion of the project.

“CI-BER brings together computer scientists, engineers and archival scientists and is meant to provide insights into the management of very large scientific data collections,” writes Marciano on the CI-BER project’s blog. “We expect the findings to inform other NSF Office of Cyberinfrasdtructure (OCI) funded projects as well.”

A second-generation research collaboration made possible by $395,000 in seed funding, CI-BER extends earlier work done under a project called Transcontinental Persistent Archives Prototype (TPAP). Its goal is to further the understanding of digital infrastructure and provide insights into the management of scientific data.

In addition to Marciano, those working on the project include: Stan Ahalt, director of RENCI; Arcot Rajasekar, SILS professor and DICE Center director of research and technology, and chief scientist; Leesa Brieger, head of iRODS@RENCI; Jefferson Heard, senior research software developer, RENCI; Chien-Yi Hou, SILS research associate;  and Sheau-Yen Chen, data grid system administrator, Institute for Neural Computation, UCSD.

“CI-BER is a learning opportunity as well as a valuable research project,” said RENCI Director Stan Ahalt. “What we learn from this project will be applicable to managing large scientific data sets in general and to developing the kind of generalized cyberinfrastructure that will help our nation manage and archive the tremendous amounts of data being created every day.”

To read more about CI-BER, you can follow the CI-BER project’s blog.