Research Data Store (RDS) is a new central service for storing large volumes of research data. 

Key features include:

  • Ease of use – accessible as a fast network drive across the college network, and directly on the RCS's compute systems.
  • Cost-effective – generous standard allocations for research projects, with metered rates for additional storage. 
  • Secure – will become an ISO-certified system for secure data storage. 

What you get

  •  Project Space, as a PI you may create as many separate project allocations as you need. All allocations must be tied to an active research project grant or GL code. Each separate funded research project is eligible for 2TB of online storage free of charge for the duration of the project. Additional storage is chargeable at the metered rates shown below. This space provides snapshots, allowing you to retrieve deleted or earlier revisions of files.
  • Ephemeral Space is temporary working space. The ephemeral space can store an unrestricted amount of data but its contents are subject to a 30-day lifetime, older files being deleted automatically.

How does the RDS compare to other storage options?

The features of the RDS in comparison to the College's other storage options are summarised in the following table.

Project Space Options

Each research project* is eligible for 2TB of online storage, split across all of the associated RDS project allocations. Usage over this amount will incur a fee and will be billed to the funding research project every month. We will calculate the fee based on the amount of storage actually used, measured daily. The rate we use depends on degree of redundancy requested when the allocation was created. We offer two tiers of redundancy:

  • Single Copy data is held on a single file-system supported by multiply-redundant disk storage system. This space provides snapshots, allowing you to  retrieve deleted or earlier revisions of files.

  • Dual Copy As the standard level, but with an additional copy kept at second geographic site, allowing data to be recovered in the case of a site-wide disaster.

These two tiers are both intended for data that's in active use. Once a project is completed, we can archive its RDS allocation. An archived allocation remains accessible through a file-system view, but in read-only form. Actually accessing the content of files will incur a high latency as the data is brought back from slow, cold, storage.

Read more about organising your data in the RDS.

*We consider a research project to be a unique entry in the college's grant management system - ie a project account with a P or PS code. Non-project GL accounts can also be used but these receive no standard entitlement.

Working with Sensitive or Personally-identifiable Data?

The project allocations currently available on the RDS are not suitable for storing personally-identifiable data. We will be introducing this capability soon.

What it Costs

The FEC rates for RDS Project Storage are below. These can be costed in InfoEd through the Research Computing Service charge-out (TRAC) facility.

Single Copy (standard) £2.80/TB/month
Dual Copy £5.00/TB/month
Archive £100/TB/decade (one-off charge)

We will normally bill the supporting project or GL account monthly. Where funds are subject to a sunset date, we are able to accept non-refundable advance payments.

Accessing RDS Project Allocations

Access from inside College

RDS Project Allocations are accessible from within the College network as a Windows network share  (Windows 10 only) or macOS network drive.  Watch a video on how to connect from Windows 10macOS or Linux (Ubuntu).

Access from outside College

Access to the RDS from outside the college network will require a VPN connection. If you are a Windows or Linux user you will need to switch to the newer OpenVPN service.  See our VPN configuration instructions. MacOS users: the normal Tunnelblick VPN client does not yet work with the RDS. The Viscosity VPN client is compatible.

Access from College HPC systems

RDS allocations are also available on the College HPC system under $HOME/../projects/ or $RDS_PROJECT/

Registering and Managing Project Allocations

PIs may register project allocations, as well as monitor usage and grant other people access, via our self-service portal (college network or VPN access required).