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OpenAFS Research File System (RFS) retirement notice
March 25, 2016
IT Professionals and users of RFS:

UITS Research Technologies (RT) is planning the retirement of the OpenAFS Research File System (RFS — see:

This first communication outlines the RFS retirement and associated timeline (included below). Future communications will include more details and recommendations for data migration. Please wait for these details before migrating your data, and consult with your local IT staff on migration plans.

There are several reasons that the time to retire RFS has come. Specifically:

  • The hardware infrastructure is 7 years old and past due for retirement.
  • The underlying open source software, OpenAFS, has seen declining development (we may not be able to create local patches for future vulnerabilities).
  • Network and OpenAFS limitations prevent us from delivering the capacity and performance that many users require.
  • Suitable storage alternatives are available, as described below

For many RFS users, Box will be a suitable replacement, however you should work with your local IT staff to determine the best place to migrate your data. In particular, for users who need to share files with colleagues and work using productivity applications (such as MS Office), Box or Box Health Data accounts ( are a good match. RT and the IU Box team are working together to determine some best practices for data migration and will share those in future communications.

On March 25, 2016 RT will proceed with a general announcement of the RFS retirement. Ongoing work will be done to build up communications and Knowledge Base documents to assist people as they move their data from RFS to IU Box. RT will also work with the Support Center and IT Community Partnerships to make sure they are able to address basic questions about the RFS retirement and using IU Box going forward. Research Storage will also support users and address users’ questions as they plan to transition away from RFS.

Expected Timeline:

  • March 25, 2016 — General announcement about RFS retirement
  • Week of May 9, 2016 (after spring semester ends) — Option to create new RFS accounts is removed from the Access Management System
  • Week of August 1, 2016 (before fall semester starts) — OpenAFS RFS becomes Read-Only
  • Week of January 2, 2017 — RFS is retired and no longer accessible to users

Please move to a new solution before the above target dates, so you have time to adjust to any new solution prior to the retirement of RFS. If you have specific questions about the migration, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,

Kristy Kallback-Rose
Manager, Research Storage

Matt Link
Director, Research Technologies - Systems


Systems Administration
Maintenance windows:

  • Big Red ll: First Tuesday each month, 7am-7pm EDT
  • DC2/DCWAN: First Tuesday each month, 7am-7pm EDT
  • Mason: First Tuesday each month, 7am-7pm EDT
  • Karst: First Tuesday each month, 7am-7pm EDT
  • RDC: First Tuesday each month, 8am-5pm EDT
  • Scholarly Data Archive: Sundays, 7-10am EDT
  • Research File System: Sundays, 7-10am EDT
  • Emergency downtimes: See IT Notices:

How to contact us and get help
Do you have questions about IU's cyberinfrastructure or need help? Try these resources:

More ways to get PTI and UITS-RT news:


This is an official publication of Indiana University and is produced by University Information Technology Services, Indiana University.

Copyright 2016, The Trustees of Indiana University. Please credit UITS when referring to or using information in this publication.

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UITS Research Technologies is a cyberinfrastructure and service center affiliated with the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute.

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