Ontario Library Research Cloud (OLRC)

What is the OLRC?

The OLRC is a collaboration of Ontario’s university libraries to build a high capacity, secure & affordable cloud storage network. OCUL members, with their campus IT partners (like the ITS), have built  the OLRC to help libraries provide cost effective, sustainable long-term preservation, archiving and management of  large volumes of digital content.

How does OLRC support our work?

As a founding member in OLRC, MacOdrum Library is using this shared service investment  with over 13 academic library partners towards ensuring a robust digital storage network  for our growing digital collections.

How does the OLRC support your work?

OLRC is being used to improve upon what we are already doing - supporting growing digital collections with the goal of long term, low-cost archival storage with a focus on preserving digital collection-related research output that are within the scope of library collections.

Some use cases for researchers:

  • The OLRC can be built into your grant funding application to demonstrate long term commitment to the preservation of your research outputs. Web content, publications,  other scholarly or project-related outputs may need a longer term archiving and access solution after your grant funding concludes
  • Digtal content rescues -  Research data hosted on a private or commercially hosted server(s), may not be sustainable over the long-term, or its viability may be in question.   Alternately, the closure of a research organization or NGO with which you are affiliated means that  digital content of significant research value may be lost. These collections may be suitable for OLRC.
  • Text mining - as OCUL member libraries build up our digital collections in OLRC, we will be exploring ways to support data and text mining of certain of these collections using innovative research tools.
  • In addition to archival storage, OLRC is also moving to support static websites, video hosting and more. Contact us to explore.

Does it cost?

Increasingly we are seeing high value collections and research projects with no long-term storage plan in place. The reality is that there is  no "free lunch" when it comes to high quality archival storage, nor is there “accidental” preservation.

For many of our digital collection services, the OLRC will be integrated seamlessly into our work; however, charges may apply depending upon the scope and size of the digital content to be preserved for longer term access.  To guage pricing, visit the OLRC page to view pricing in place for member libraries.

More on our Operating principles

The OLRC storage cluster has been designed taking into account the following principles:

  • Durability - All efforts are being made to ensure high levels of performance and availability for the storage cluster. The primary focus is on ensuring the durability of the content.
  • Geographic Redundancy- The nodes (“storage servers”) are located across multiple locations.
  • Cost Containment - Wherever possible and without compromising the quality of service, decisions will be made to minimize the cost of operating and maintaining the storage cluster.
  • Standards - Where possible, the storage cluster utilizes industry standard APIs and interfaces, with the purpose of maximizing the utility of the cluster across a range of applications.
  • Scalability - The storage cluster is designed to facilitate its growth over time, and to enable it to keep up with the projected storage demands of its users.

Related Services

Carleton's Research Computing Services (RCS) offers innovative virtual computing services as well as options for personal researcher storage. Consider RCS for personal research data not meant for library digital collections and not intended to be directly accessed from off campus networks.

Content last updated: August 27, 2019