ARCHIVED: Research File System (RFS) at Indiana University
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UITS will decommission the Research File System (RFS) the week of January 2, 2017. Given the age of the system's hardware, a recent decline in development of the OpenAFS file system, and other limitations, the UITS Research Storage team has determined the RFS will be unable in the future to reliably provide the high levels of storage capacity, security, and performance that Indiana University researchers require.
Retirement of the RFS is following this timeline:
- Week of May 9, 2016: The option to create new RFS accounts was removed from the IU Access Management System.
- Week of August 1, 2016: RFS accounts not updated since January 1, 2015, or earlier became read-only.
- Week of August 8, 2016: RFS accounts not updated since January 1, 2016, or earlier became read-only.
- Week of August 15, 2016: Remaining active accounts were evaluated.
- Monday, October 17, 2016: Personal RFS accounts not updated since August 15, 2016, and projects not updated this year became read-only.
- Monday, November 14, 2016: Remaining active accounts (with few exceptions) became read-only.
- Week of January 2, 2017: RFS will be officially decommissioned and no longer accessible to users
Research Storage staff have notified RFS users regarding best practices and recommendations for migrating their data. Research Storage also recommends consulting your local IT Pro to determine the best strategy for migrating your data. You must plan to migrate your data well in advance of the target dates indicated in the RFS retirement timeline.
For many users, particularly those who frequently share files or use desktop productivity applications (e.g., Microsoft Office), the IU Box service is a suitable replacement for RFS. For users working with sensitive data, Box at IU provides two special types of accounts:
- Box Health Data Accounts: To use Box at IU for storing and sharing research data containing protected health information (PHI), you must use a Box Health Data Account (BHDA). BHDAs are set up, monitored, and audited by Clinical Affairs IT Service (CAITS).
- Box Entrusted Data Accounts: To use Box at IU for storing and sharing non-health-related institutional data classified as Restricted, UITS recommends using a Box Entrusted Data Account (BEDA).
For more, see:
- At IU, how do I request a Box account for use with sensitive data?
- What types of data are appropriate for my IU Box account?
- Protecting sensitive data in Box
The Indiana University Research File System (RFS) is a centralized storage area based on OpenAFS. The IU RFS is compatible with all major operating systems, and accessible using various methods from on and off campus. RFS data reside in physically secure environments on the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.
|Machine type||Research file system|
|Operating system||Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5|
|Nodes||4 file servers
4 gateway nodes
|Network file system protocols||
OpenAFS, CIFS (Samba), SFTP/SCP, HTTPS
|Total disk space||50 TB|
100 GB (default) per user, 100 GB (default) per project
|Backup and purge policies||
The system is backed up nightly.
4 Gbs (currently limited by network connection)
Accessing your RFS files
You can access your RFS files from your personal computer using several methods:
- Samba: For instructions, see ARCHIVED: At IU, how do I use Samba to mount or map to the RFS on my workstation?
- SFTP: For instructions, see ARCHIVED: At IU, can I use FTP or SFTP to access my RFS space?
- RFSWeb: For instructions, see ARCHIVED: At IU, what is RFSWeb and how do I use it?
- OpenAFS client: The OpenAFS client is a somewhat advanced tool that works best under Linux, but Windows and OS X versions are also available. To use the OpenAFS client to connect to the RFS, you also must install a Kerberos 5 client. For instructions, see:
- ARCHIVED: At IU, how do I install and configure OpenAFS on my Unix workstation for use with the RFS?
- ARCHIVED: At IU, how do I install and configure OpenAFS on my Mac OS X computer for use with the RFS?
- ARCHIVED: At IU, how do I install and configure OpenAFS on my Windows workstation for use with the RFS?
Working with data containing PHI
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established rules protecting the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Security Rule set national standards requiring organizations and individuals to implement certain administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI).
This system meets certain requirements established in the HIPAA Security Rule that enable its use for research involving data that contain protected health information (PHI). You may use this resource for research involving data that contain PHI only if you institute additional administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that complement those UITS already has in place. For more, see When using UITS Research Technologies systems and services, what are my legal responsibilities for protecting the privacy and security of data containing protected health information (PHI)? If you need help or have questions, contact UITS HIPAA Consulting.