Research data storage

ITS provide facilities for the storage of large volumes of data required for research projects that cannot be stored within the standard home or group file system allocation.

This storage is a mix of:

  1. Non-mirrored storage on disk - a single copy held on a RAID device in one location.
  2. Mirrored storage on disk, for data that has to be available at all times; held on RAID devices in two separate locations (e.g., in the Shawcross and Pevensey Datacentres).
  3. High performance parallel file system - attached to the HPC cluster and used during computation or for storing very large data sets that can be recreated or downloaded. (LUSTRE). The scratch space is not backed up.
  4. Azure Blob Storage: Cloud based storage options for providing smaller volumes of data for webservices or global services. Data can be stored on servers throughout the globe for high availability.

Networked Research Volumes (formerly the R Drive) use the storage in (1) or (2) and can be mapped onto your Sussex workstation. Secure access is mediated by Access Control Lists held within Active Directory Groups and if desired the data can be shared within groups. The file servers have a high bandwidth connection to the central High Performance Computing Facilities.

Approximate Data Storage Costs:

  • Non-mirrored (standard) disk storage is £500 per Terabyte and pro rata for storage under a Terabyte
  • Nightly incremental tape backup is £250 per Terabyte of storage
  • Scratch LUSTRE storage (not backed up) ~ £8k for 116TB, it comes at no cost to end users.
  • Azure Blob Storage – See Azure Pricing for region/availability of pricing options

If long-term storage is needed data can be archived to tape. Please contact us for details.

How to apply for data storage

The Principle Investigator will need to detail:

  • amount of storage required
  • whether the data has to be mirrored
  • periods between backups
  • when and if the data should be archived

giving a brief description of why they need to use the storage facility, why the data should be stored and for how long. Requirements for any encryption and levels of security will also be requested. Each applicant will be given the notional cost of the storage that they are applying for.

Applications for research storage should be raised with the IT Service Desk