Revision 1.2.6, 2015-06-04
Computer Science faculty, in collaboration with the Division of IT, have inspired investments by the National Science Foundation which have provided 100GB network and some much needed high performance computing equipment and support. The remaining priority need is for research data storage. In 2014, under the guidance of MU’s Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Council, the Division of IT purchased over 1Petabyte of storage to initialize service offerings for General Purpose Research Storage. The plan is for additional funding for the ever-growing need for research data storage to be gathered through sponsored research, and investments by campus and UM-System.
The resulting General Purpose Research Storage (GPRS) offers a sustainable and flexible research data storage environment – providing research collaboration and computation storage resources at minimal cost. GPRS will support MU faculty and their students and collaborators in the sharing, analysis and visualization of research data. Campus computers and equipment (microscopes, etc.) can be connected to large pools of shared network storage through either Windows (SMB) or Linux (NFS). Integration with the campus identity management system enables fine-grain access to support the sophisticated collaboration needs of researchers. GPRS is intended for research analysis rather than archiving and is not automatically backed-up. Although the system is highly resilient to component failure, backup services are available for a fee.
In keeping with the tradition of funding research computing at MU, the plan is to accumulate necessary resources in partnership with MU’s researchers and their funding agencies. The intention is to offer a reasonable volume of storage at an affordable cost, and gather measures of usage and demand to enable and justify increased funding. The Division of IT’s Research Computing staff will interconnect and manage the data storage and will actively recruit and support additional investments by researchers and other units on campus including MU Libraries.
Research data storage can be allocated to an individual researcher or to a research lab or group of collaborators – graduate students must be sponsored by a faculty member as part of a group. Large blocks of data storage will be available for five years and will be professionally managed and accessible via dedicated network access. For an additional cost, offsite replication for backup will also be available. Research Computing staff will assist researchers with their data management plan as well as the cost and justification for grant proposals.
Fifty terabytes of storage have been designated for special cases where the storage will be provided at a reduced cost or no-charge. These projects are meant to be short exploratory projects or areas with special needs evaluated on a case by case basis to evaluate the need (size and duration). Special Projects might include promising exploratory research for short periods of time, exemplary research that has little chance of external funding, and other special use cases as administered by the CI Council. Requests for Special Projects storage will be reviewed by the CI-Council. Special Projects must submit a data management plan including Data Classification Level information, and report each semester on the storage usage and other relevant metrics. Requests should describe storage needs and the length of time it is needed as well a brief description of the research significance and expected outputs.
The following metrics will be collected to support the general purpose research storage:
This policy will be periodically reviewed by DoIT’s Research Computing Support Services, and MU’s Cyberinfrastructure Council and will be updated and revised as necessary. Revisions will be communicated to users and will be posted to the DoIT Research Computing website.