High-performance storage for research data

UFIT RC offers two types of high-performance storage, each existing for different and distinct use cases. They are not interchangeable; investors should carefully consider which storage type their research project will require before making an investment. Both types may be needed to effectively support a project.

  • The orange storage type is less expensive, offering lower relative performance than blue storage. It is based on disk drives with higher density, which increase capacity at the cost of speed. However, performance is still higher than the typical NAS appliance purchased from the consumer market, and is designed for long-term use in enterprise and research computing environments. This storage is ideal for keeping large or numerous files for long periods of time, with regular access for reading and writing.
  • The blue storage type is more expensive, offering high performance for large groups of independent tasks running on HiPerGator to read and write simultaneously, including coordinated tasks running MPI programs. Allocation of scratch storage (storage of data that only exists for the duration of a serial or parallel job) are made on this type of storage. Large files that are accessed for reading and writing in a random way by one or many tasks should also be stored on the blue storage type.

Storage for regulated data for research

Restricted Replicated Storage Units (RRSU) are provided for use in research projects requiring storage that is compliant with certain laws, regulations, or contractual requirements, such as HIPAA, FISMA, ITAR, EAR, or CUI. Data placed in RRSUs is encrypted and and can be accessed only within the ResShield and ResVault systems, which require multiple factors of authentication for user access. Data replication occurs automatically, in order to prevent data loss from drive failure or other unexpected system events.

This storage type is available within both the ResShield and ResVault restricted data environments; view specific compliance information on the Regulatory Compliance page.

Home directories

The system provides home directories for users on a small file system that is not intended for high performance work. Your home area is intended for source code, scripts, and other human-readable data. The amount of data in the home area should be kept to a minimum. A quota of 40GB is set for home area storage.

Programs writing to the home area run inefficiently and make the home area sluggish for all users. For both batch jobs and interactive jobs, all input/output operations (I/O) should take place within a group’s storage investment, as these file systems have been designed for high I/O activity.

Home directories do offer the advantage of having one week of daily snapshots available, which can be accessed by the user to recover older versions of files or accidentally deleted files.

Snapshots of user’s home directory files are stored on the file system. For more information concerning the use of snapshots, please see the RC Wiki page about Snapshots.