Presentations at upcoming meeting highlight worldwide uses of iRODS

Go to to register for the 2017 User Group Meeting at Utrecht University

UTRECHT, The Netherlands – Users will take the spotlight during the annual iRODS User Group Meeting, which will feature at least 20 user presentations highlighting the many industries, government agencies, and research institutes who depend on iRODS to manage their data.

iRODS—the integrated Rule Oriented Data System—is free open source software for data management and discovery, workflow automation, secure collaboration, and data virtualization. iRODS software is developed and maintained through the support of the iRODS Consortium, a membership organization with industry and academic members worldwide.

The annual User Group Meeting (UGM) will be held June 13 – 15 at Utrecht University in Utrecht, The Netherlands. A full day of iRODS training (beginner or advanced) will be offered on June 13, followed by the two-day UGM. iRODS users and those interested in using iRODS can register for a training session, the UGM or both on the iRODS website.

“Our user meetings are much more than the development team giving reports on the latest tools and plugins and plans for the next version of iRODS,” said Jason Cosposky, executive director of the iRODS Consortium. “We learn a lot from seeing the many ways that organizations are deploying iRODS and the types of data challenges they are dealing with.”

Among the presentations planned for the UGM are:

  • Presenters from Utrecht University and SURFsara, a foundation that provides IT resources and infrastructure to universities and research organizations in The Netherlands, will talk about their developing research data management environments build on iRODS to support scientists at Dutch universities and affiliated medical centers.
  • Tony Anderson, a volunteer with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative in Africa and Asia, will explain how iRODS has been used to set up an archive for data created on OLPC computers, which have very limited data storage. The implementation stores data on a local server so that the laptop user will not lose data once their local storage capacity is reached. The system allows users to archive data onto the server or request a local copy of files with a simple click of a button.
  • Europe’s Collaborative Data Infrastructure (CDI), developed through the European Data Infrastructure (EUDAT) initiative, connects 16 data and computing centers that support more than 50 scientific research communities. The CDI adopted iRODS to deal with the challenge of managing heterogeneous data stored at different data centers that use different hardware, software and policies. An international team will explain how they have used and extended iRODS functionality through an architecture called B2SAFE.
  • The Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope is a large radio astronomy telescope operated by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) that generates 7 petabytes of data each year. Many users are challenged by the complicated technology of the data archive used for data from LOFAR and other ASTRON telescopes, which led the institute to use iRODS to manage its long-term data archive. The presenters will highlight future plans for their iRODS data grid, which in five years could be managing as much as 20 petabytes of radio astronomy data.
  • Scientists and technologists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) use iRODS to manage optical microscopy images of mouse brain tissue. The images are used to understand cellular changes in the brain that could be an indicator of autism. The research team will talk about how they are able to share their massive image files and make them available for future research through an iRODS data grid.

“iRODS is a key element in the IT strategy for research at Utrecht University,” CIO Carolien Besselink explained. “We are honored to be host to the iRODS User Group Meeting and are pleased to welcome iRODS users from all over the world to our university.”

For a complete list of presentations planned for the UGM and abstracts visit