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 IU Trident Indiana University

UITS Research Technologies

Cyberinfrastructure enabling research and creative activities

Research Storage

The mission of the Research Storage group is to enable the IU community to store data reliably, in large quantities, over long periods of time. The research storage team manages and supports the Scholarly Data Archive (SDA) and the Research File System (RFS). These two systems provide advanced and reliable storage services for Indiana University researchers.

Scholarly Data Archive

The Scholarly Data Archive (SDA) is a tape-based archive system intended for long-term storage of research data. Currently, the SDA has a raw tape capacity of 15 petabytes (PB) with approximately 600 terabytes (TB) of spinning disk that operates as a cache for files moving to or from tape. IU was first in implementing a geographically distributed HPSS in production. By default, a file stored in SDA is written to tape on both the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses. This protects from minor problems like tape failures to major ones like a site disaster. Each campus has an automated tape library and between them they hold over 7,000 tapes and utilize 48 high-speed tape drives. The SDA is capable of storing files from about 1 megabyte (MB) to 10 terabytes (TB) in size. The SDA can be mounted on the desktop and also accessed via web and SFTP protocals. For movement of large data and for frequent users of SDA a proprietary tool called HSI is the preferred tool. It is important to note that SDA is not intended for frequently modified data.

Research File System

The Research File System (RFS) is a disk-based system intended for individual user, as well as collaborative projects among IU researchers. Currently, RFS has 50 terabytes (TB) of total capacity, and files are backed up on a nightly basis. RFS can be mounted on the desktop and also accessed via the web and SFTP protocols. Unlike the SDA, RFS is intended for active editing of files and documents. Quotas start at 100GB for personal space and additional project space can be requested.  Click here for an important announcement regarding the retirement of RFS.

Getting Started

Any faculty, staff or graduate student may request a SDA or RFS account via the Account Management system. (Undergraduate students and part-time employees must get a faculty or staff person to sponsor an account.)

For additional information about SDA or RFS visit the IU Knowledge Base.