ARCHIVED: Completed project: Research File System upgrade

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Primary UITS contact: Kurt A. Seiffert

Completed: December 19, 2007

Description: The Research File System has been operating since fall 2005. Since then nearly 900 users have acquired accounts on the Research File System, which allows researchers to store and access data from a myriad of locations including their desktops, the web, and supercomputers such as Big Red and Quarry. The current upgrade provides a significant upgrade in capacity, performance, and reliability.

Outcome: The upgrade will result in greater capacity:

  • Increase from 3.5 TB to 50 TB of space
  • Double the number of file servers
  • Double the number of gateway servers

The upgrade will result in better performance:

  • SAN attached disk offers more than double the throughput.
  • More than double the networking bandwidth
  • More than double the processing power and IO bandwidth

The upgrade will result in better reliability:

  • Servers are distributed between campuses.
  • Co-location of user data with user's campus avoids inter-campus network issues.
  • More robust SAN system reduces likelihood of IO failure.

Milestones and status:

  • May 2007: Acquire and install new hardware
  • June 2007: Test latest version of software and procedures for rolling upgrades
  • July 2007: Begin process of rolling upgrades and Phase 1 deployment
  • August 2007: Redistribute existing hardware after initial upgrades and Phase 1 deployment
  • September 2007: Complete Phase 2 deployment and upgrade
  • October 2007: Research File System available from all Research Technology supercomputers


  • Default quotas increased from 1 GB to 10 GB
  • Project quotas can increase to 1 TB quota before cost sharing is required.
  • Can expand user base to 5,000 researchers

Researchers are able to move even more data onto the Research File System. For instance, the Department of Radiology in the School of Medicine is planning to store 10-15 TB of imaging and research data on the Research File System.

Client impact: Due to features of OpenAFS, the technology used to implement the Research File System, the entire upgrade can happen during normal operations without impacting any of the nearly 900 current users of the system.

This is document avon in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 15:30:27.

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