The joined organization, named "DuraSpace," will sustain and grow its flagship repository platforms – Fedora and DSpace. DuraSpace will also expand its portfolio by offering new technologies and services that respond to the dynamic environment of the Web and to new requirements from existing and future users. DuraSpace will focus on supporting existing communities and will also engage a larger and more diverse group of stakeholders in support of its not-for-profit mission. The organization will be led by an executive team consisting of Sandy Payette (Chief Executive Officer), Michele Kimpton (Chief Business Officer), and Brad McLean (Chief Technology Officer) and will operate out of offices in Ithaca, NY and Cambridge, MA.
"This is a great development," said Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). "It will focus resources and talent in a way that should really accelerate progress in areas critical to the research, education, and cultural memory communities. The new emphasis on distributed reliable storage infrastructure services and their integration with repositories is particularly timely."
Together Fedora and DSpace make up the largest market share of open repositories worldwide, serving over 700 institutions. These include organizations committed to the use of open source software solutions for the dissemination and preservation of academic, scientific, and cultural digital content.
"The joining of DSpace and Fedora Commons is a watershed event for libraries, specifically, and higher education, more generally," said James Hilton, CIO of the University of Virginia. "Separately, these two organizations operated with similar missions and a shared commitment to developing and supporting open technologies. By bringing together the technical, financial, and community-based resources of the two organizations, their communities gain a robust organization focused on solving the many challenges involved in storing, curating, and preserving digital data and scholarship," he said.
DuraSpace will continue to support its existing software platforms, DSpace and Fedora, as well as expand its offerings to support the needs of global information communities. The first new technology to emerge will be a Web-based service named "DuraCloud." DuraCloud is a hosted service that takes advantage of the cost efficiencies of cloud storage and cloud computing, while adding value to help ensure longevity and re-use of digital content. The DuraSpace organization is developing partnerships with commercial cloud providers who offer both storage and computing capabilities.
The DuraCloud service will be run by the DuraSpace organization. Its target audiences are organizations responsible for digital preservation and groups creating shared spaces for access and re-use of digital content. DuraCloud will be accessible directly as a Web service and also via plug-ins to digital repositories including Fedora and DSpace. The software developed to support the DuraCloud service will be made available as open source. An early release of DuraCloud will be available for selected pilot partners in Fall 2009.
Key Benefits of the DuraSpace Organization
DuraSpace will support both DSpace and Fedora by working closely with both communities and when possible, develop synergistic technologies, services, and programs that increase interoperability of the two platforms. DuraSpace will also support other open source software projects including the Mulgara semantic store, a scalable RDF database.
DuraSpace is mission-focused. The organization will be associated with its broader mission of working towards developing services and solutions on behalf of diverse communities rather than focusing on single-solution product development. This change in orientation can be characterized as moving beyond the software and toward the mission.
DuraSpace will bring strength and leadership to a larger community and amplify the value brought by each organization individually. With both organizations working in unison, there can be significant economies of scale, synergies in developing open technologies and services, and a strong position for long-term sustainability.