IRIS Program Progresses – Upcoming Seminars and Pilot Testing

The newly formed Research Infrastructure Services (RIS) organization led by Craig Pohl, senior director of Research Infrastructure Services, is making progressive headway towards developing a unified suite of IT services for the Washington University research community. The formation of RIS and the Research Storage Project are part of the IT Research Infrastructure Services Program (IRIS), funded by the university for the development of a high-performance IT environment to enable research and collaboration at WashU.

Currently, Research Storage seminars are being hosted at both the Medical and Danforth Campuses. These seminars provide an opportunity for researchers to learn about the upcoming no-cost 5TB (terabytes) data storage services, the low cost of additional storage, and the development of the new Research Infrastructure Services portfolio.

The seminars, like the IRIS initiative itself, are founded on WashU partnerships and designed to be educational, collaborative and feedback oriented. As a result, the sessions offer ample time for attendees to ask questions, openly discuss the needs of the research community and receive information on pilot participation.

 “We have experienced a tremendous positive response to the seminars, the 5 TB of free storage, and IRIS program from the research community.  Our partners have shown outstanding support by aiding the promotion of the seminars through their own publications and their overall eagerness to collaborate,” said Randy Gadell, IT project manager.

“This reaffirms the investment decision the university made to support its world-class researchers with high-performance IT infrastructure and services. In fact, WashU is one of a few universities of its class to offer a free allocation of high-performance enterprise storage with backup at no cost to their researchers,” said James Fitzpatrick, scientific director with the Center for Cellular Imaging and associate professor of cell biology, neuroscience and biomedical engineering.  

Fitzpatrick is the Research Storage Project chairperson, and has been one of the key leaders behind the project since its inception in September 2015.

To date, RIS has conducted three research storage seminars with 132 attendees. Due to overwhelming demand, they have scheduled three additional seminars in January and February. The Research Storage project team has, by invitation, also presented at several monthly departmental meetings.

What’s next for the IRIS program?

  • January through March – Research Storage pilot and early adopter program
    • To date, most seminar attendees and dozens of others have signed up for the pilot program
  • April – General availability of research storage service will be announced
  • April – Consulting and engineering services for complex storage requirements will start
  • April – First version of the research services portfolio will be published
  • July – Design work starts for the expansion of the storage services

Stay informed by visiting the Research Storage project page and the IT events page.