Shared storage for research data - advance notice of a requirements workshop

10 December, 2012 | in DCC News
By: Kevin Ashley

Storage and the potential role of cloud and shared services are issues that arise regularly in the DCC's work with UK universities. We hope, therefore, that a forthcoming event we're planning in collaboration with colleagues in JISC and the JANET brokerage on storage service requirements will prove to be of interest to many.

Some of the details are still in discussion, but I thought it worthwhile to announce what we know now to allow people to plan attendance and to comment on the outline. The primary aim of the workshop is to gain an understanding of common requirements for storage services from institutions. This will assist the JANET brokerage in its negotiations with suppliers of cloud services and it will also help us and them to identify and nurture potential shared services between institutions in research data management. We realise that storage doesn't always make sense in isolation and that it will be necessary to offer some idea of what's feasibile in terms of framework agreements for external services in the near future.

There will be a mix of short presentations about current and future framework service agreements and case studies of existing shared services and requirements identification. But much of the day will be given over to more interactive sessions aimed at understanding requirements and identifying commonalities. What are people already doing for themselves ? What appetite exists for outsourcing or sharing services in this area ? To what extent does it make sense to share technology without the management of the services that sit above it ? What do people already understand about requirements in this area? Is the main appetite for services relating to working data, archived (and little-used) data or published and popular data ? These are amongst the questions we hope to deal with on the day.

The workshop is likely to take place in the later part of February 2013. Attendance will be limited to around 30 people in order to gain the most from the workshop format. We'll be targeting invites at some people we definitely want to be there, but there will be places available for open registration as well. We want people who are well informed about research data storage service requirements and possibilities; many of those are likely to be based in IT services, but we expect attendance from other institutional service groups as well. Amongst the outputs will be a DCC briefing paper on the topic. Look here for more news when we have it.