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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ICPSR has been busy chatting with our good friends at DuraSpace over the past month or two.  We have been an active member of their DuraCloud pilot.  This is a hosted service for content and services where the big cloud providers deliver the compute and the storage, and DuraSpace delivers the software and services.  Our main use has been as a supplement to our archival storage solution.

The project looks like it will soon finish the jump from "research pilot" to "production service."  We participated in a webinar yesterday which introduced the updated management console.  It looks good, but we did volunteer one feature request:  an "financial administrator" role.  The idea is that a login assigned to this role would have read access to invoices and financial statements, but not have any access to the content, services, etc.  This is a role we would love to have with the Amazon AWS IAM stuff, but the Amazon guys still haven't identified the monthly bill as one of the system elements that would benefit from such a role.  (And so that means that someone like me has to navigate through the management console to grab billing information each month, then save it, upload it into the absolutely ghastly UMich financial systems, and ....)

DuraCloud is a nice fit for ICPSR since it gives us a single management interface for syncing content to multiple cloud providers (Amazon and Rackspace today, but Microsoft down the road), and for invoking preservation-oriented services over the content, such as fixity checking.

You can find more info about DuraCloud on their web site, and a nice little piece they wrote about ICPSR too.

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