Cloud repositories for research data-addressing the needs of researchers

Simon Waddington*, Jun Zhang, Gareth Knight, Jens Jensen, Roger Downing, Cheney Ketley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the problems and explores potential solutions for providing long term storage and access to research outputs, focusing mainly on research data. The ready availability of cloud storage and compute services provides a potentially attractive option for curation and preservation of research information. In contrast to deploying infrastructure within an organisation, which normally requires long lead times and upfront capital investment, cloud infrastructure is available on demand and is highly scalable. However, use of commercial cloud services in particular raises issues of governance, cost-effectiveness, trust and quality of service. We describe a set of in-depth case studies conducted with researchers across the sciences and humanities performing data-intensive research, which demonstrate the issues that need to be considered when preserving data in the cloud. We then describe the design of a repository framework that addresses these requirements. The framework uses hybrid cloud, combining internal institutional storage, cloud storage and cloudbased preservation services into a single integrated repository infrastructure. Allocation of content to storage providers is performed using on a rules-based approach. The results of an evaluation of the proof-of-concept system are described.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Cloud Computing
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2013


  • Cost optimisation
  • DuraCloud
  • Fedora repository
  • Hybrid cloud storage
  • Rules engine


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