Frequently Asked Questions

How much space can I have on the RDSF?

A Data Steward can currently have up to 5TB of storage free of charge. Above 5TB, the University has implemented a charging policy. For technical reasons the minimum allocation is 100GB per project.

What does the RDSF cost?

RDSF costs are detailed here. You should include costs for storing more than 5TB of research data in grant applications.

How secure & reliable is the RDSF?

We limit access to each project to a named set of people so only users authorized by the Data Steward can see the data.

The data is stored on multiple disks with protection against individual component failure. Of course there are events over which we have no control e.g. a University power failure.

All project data is stored in two different locations. Then if we lose one location your data continues to be available from the other (replicated), this is totally transparent. 

Is the RDSF storage fast?

The system is designed for capacity rather than speed, but is comparable with other network drives. If speed of file access is important to you we recommend a 'working copy' on local storage and setup regular backups to your RDSF projects(s). 

What limitations does the RDSF have?

The RDSF was not designed for performance, but purely to offer bulk second tier storage, so we ask that you do not run applications that directly access the RDSF filesystems. If you would like help or advice on changing your usage patterns on the RDSF or with changing to use local disk systems for active data, do contact us.

What is a Data Steward?

A Data Steward is someone who owns a set of data stored on the RDSF in the form of one or more projects. You decide how much storage a project needs, for how long the data should be kept, who has access to it and pay any costs beyond the first 5TB. Normally the Data Steward would be the PI for any associated University research projects.

Can I delegate Data Steward duties?

Yes, you can delegate some activities such as adding/removing access to/from users and preparing data for publication to someone in your research group. We call this a Deputy Data Steward and we recommend a maximum of two per project.

What is a project?

A project is a set of data associated with an activity. It is stored as a directory on the RDSF and made available as a Windows (CIFS) share, or Unix/Linux (NFS) mountable directory. A Data Steward may have many projects. Every project must have a Data Steward.

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