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School of Physics and Astronomy – computing
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Data, research and otherwise

Data storage in the school is managed in a hierarchy of cost/security.

Here ‘reliable storage’ means storage configured to be able to survive disk failures without problems (ie, this is a type of RAID storage). There are catastrophic circumstances where such data can be lost – for example if a whole machine were destroyed, or physically stolen – but disk failure, as the most common mode for data loss, generally shouldn't happen.

Availability §

/home: Everyone with a school SSO account will have /home space. This is where you store papers, theses, software, and all the most high-value material. Because this is the most expensive category of storage, we tend to keep a fairly close eye on it.

/data: We can create /data storage for particular projects, for clusters of people, or sometimes for individuals with large storage needs. We refer to all of these as ‘projects’, and create space /data/pNNN with a numeric ID. We can if necessary create unix user-groups to control access. Our /data spaces are in the one to 10s of TB range (we're not really set up for much larger storage volumes).

If you need such space, contact P&A IT support.

/scratch: Every machine should end up with ‘scratch’ space, as part of the process of commissioning the machine, with the expectation that this is all of the otherwise-unused space available on the hardware. For convenience, most machines are additionally configured so that the scratch space is visible to other local machines, as /scratch/<machinename> – contact P&A IT support if this appears not to be the case for your machine.

Scratch space is usually set up with a directory owned by each regular user of a machine, but the space is managed cooperatively by the users on that machine (ie, talk to each other!).

See also: