The iREAD (iRODS Evaluation and Demonstrator) Project overview.
Distributed data management issues are still a major challenge in addressing the ubiquity and usability of Grid systems, particularly within the context of complex virtual organisations (VO) where flexible security models and fine -grained role based access are a pre-requisite. The Storage Resource Broker (SRB) software  has established itself as one of the leading Grid middleware applications to support the management of highly distributed large scale datasets for science applications. SRB provides the capability to virtualise distributed datasets, and to provide standardised access to a broad range of underlying storage technologies, spanning flat file systems through to database servers and tape archiving systems. Through the use of SRB, end-users are freed from concerns about the location of data and determining the correct procedures to recall or transfer data to their local or host compute environment. SRB abstracts these challenging aspects of distributed data management away from the end-user, and provides a simplified and uniform way to recall data via indexing systems (metacatalogs) which keep a logical mapping of the underlying distributed data. SRB has been widely adopted within large-scale Grid applications, particularly in the science communities, and provides the data management backbone for the National Grid Service (NGS).
The developers of SRB have developed iRODS, which like SRB is a data grid software system but its main addition is the incorporation of a distributed rules engine. Using the rules engine users can execute other rules and micro services to automate the enforcement of management policies; control data access, manipulation operations at distributed sites, etc. The use of rules provides iRODS with a flexibility that would have to be hard coded using SRB.
This project assessed the impact of the new features and functions within iRODS and particularly in the use of rules and micro services.
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