Use Big Red II data transfer nodes to improve the efficiency of data transfers

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Big Red II users can improve the efficiency and performance of their data transfers by using the system's dedicated data transfer nodes (DTNs). The DTNs feature hardware components that are tuned to optimize I/O throughput, enabling high-speed data transfers between Research Technologies resources at Indiana University and other remote hosts.

The DTNs are intended only for running data transfer commands (for example, cp, mv, scp, sftp, and hsi), or data compression and archiving commands (for example, tar, htar, gzip, and cpio). Any other use of a DTN will cause your process to be terminated.

Access the DTNs

To proceed, you must be connected to either the IU network (on campus) or the IU SSL VPN (off campus).

Big Red II users can use SSH to access the DTNs (; for example (replace username with your IU username):


If prompted, enter your IU passphrase.

After authenticating, you will be placed on the DTN command line; for example:


However, if you check the present working directory (pwd), you will see that you are in your Big Red II home directory; for example (where username is your IU username):

  username@dataxfer1:~> pwd

Users with accounts on other IU research computing systems and/or the Data Capacitor II (DC2) high-performance file system can use cd to navigate to those systems while logged into the DTNs; for example:

  • To navigate to your Carbonate account, on the DTN command line, enter (replace username with your IU username):
      cd /N/u/username/Carbonate
  • To navigate to your DC2 scratch or project space, enter one of the following (replace username or project_name with your IU username or DC2 project name, whichever is applicable):
      cd /N/dc2/scratch/username
      cd /N/dc2/projects/project_name

Transfer data

To transfer data to or from another IU research computing system or your DC2 scratch or project space, use the cp or mv command.

To transfer data transfer to or from your account on the IU Scholarly Data Archive (SDA), use HSI, HTAR, or SFTP/SCP; for instructions, see:

Before storing data on the SDA, make sure you understand the information in Types of sensitive institutional data appropriate for the Scholarly Data Archive at IU.

To transfer data to or from a remote host, use SCP or SFTP; for instructions, see:

Get help

Support for IU research computing systems, software, and services is provided by various teams within the Research Technologies division of UITS.

For general questions about research computing at IU, contact UITS Research Technologies.

For more options, see Research computing support at IU.

This is document bfvm in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2019-01-18 17:25:31.

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