Research Data Warehouse

Purpose

The service has been designed to provide safe, secure, very-large capacity, low-performance storage to Research groups on-campus. We anticipate that data will be read occasionally and written rarely. This service is not designed as temporary storage where the data has only transient value. At this time the service cannot provide managed/curated storage or manage/track workflow and capture metadata. This is up to the individual school or research group.

The service is run on a cost-recovery basis. The cost of the service is based on funding the running and renewal of the dedicated, purpose built infrastructure in which the University has invested and reflects the buying power we have due to our wider procurement of enterprise class storage solutions.

Your Responsibilities for Research Data

The Economic and Social Research Council states the following in its Research Ethics Framework. This information is representative of the requirements of the majority of Research Councils:

Research organizations (RO) must comply with legislative requirements and with the requirements of data, providers. Privacy, health and safety, and intellectual property are especially likely to arise as ethical concerns in research, but all legal requirements must be met. In addition, careful consideration is needed in regard to the ethical implications that might be associated with use of secondary data. Even where formal ethical review is not required, good research practice requires adherence to professional codes of practice and compliance with the Data Protection Act (DPA).

ROs should ensure that appropriate practical arrangements are in place to maintain the integrity and security of research data. Clear direction should be provided on where responsibilities reside in all these areas. Researchers may not realize the threat to data integrity and security presented by routinely used collection and storage methods, such as computer files on hard drives and similar devices, portable computing equipment and memory, email, and databases. Periodic audit of data storage arrangements at all levels is likely to be necessary to ensure compliance with both legal obligations and good research practice.

Cost and benefits of the service

The current service is free at the point of use, within the capacity limits available.

*All available storage on the current service is now fully allocated. We will continue to monitor actual usage and would welcome potential service users registering their interest in the service, via email to it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk

The table below outlines the differences between the RDW Service and an in-house service.

 

Local Storage

Research Data Warehouse

Compliance with many of the Research Council requirements for the protection and security of data

Data storage in a different building to the location the research is taking place.

Storage system with redundant Hard Disks (RAID) to protect data in the event of Hardware Failure.

Shadowcopy service to allow access and roll back to previous versions of data.

Email & Telephone Support from Information Systems and Services

Hosting in a Secure Datacenter with redundant Power and cooling systems.

Backup with state of the art backup systems in a second secure site.

Access

Access to the Research Data Warehouse is provided via CIFS to on-campus machines. It is therefore accessible to Windows, Mac and UNIX computers. The path to your share will be in the form \\campus.ncl.ac.uk\rdw\XXX where XXX is the name of your share - this is usually named after the department or project that the share was created for.

Storage is provided as a single, unstructured shared location to a nominated and trained Computing Officer. It is the Computing Officer's responsibility to organise the structure of the data as they see fit.

User-level access lists are to be maintained by the Computing Officer or officers for the relevant School.

Who has access to our Research Data?

Access is determined by the manager of the share (your local Computing Officer) and will in most cases by limited to other project, team and local department members. In addition, Systems Administrators and the systems which provide the service have access via the built in server 'Administrator and 'System' accounts.' Access for these accounts should not be changed as doing so will interfere with system backups.

Disabling Administrator access also causes more general problems for the Filestore management systems, and therefore IT Service staff may reinstate default permissions without notice.

Quotas

Storage will be provided in blocks of 1TB with a minimum share size of 1TB.

Backups and data retention

  • If you have deleted a file, or made a catastrophic change by accident, then the Shadow Copy Service enables you to restore older versions of files. Due to the large amounts of data involved with this service Shadow Copies are limited to 1 per day (17:00), Monday to Friday.
  • Although we make backups of the Research Storage servers every day, these are for use only by IT Service staff in case of a need for Disaster Recovery: they are not available for the restoration of individual files or folders. Requests for data restores outside the Shadow Copy window (10 days) cannot be granted. System backups are retained for three months, after which they are deleted.

Service Availability

  • Service is scheduled to be available 24/7/365 with the following exceptions.
  • When system maintenance is carried out this will usually be scheduled for the normal maintainance period, which is Tuesdays 0600-0900.
  • Some systems are automatically re-started for maintenance purposes overnight.

Notification of service interruptions

  • We publish Messages of the Day on the University Home pages; these are part of a comprehensive news publishing system. In the case of filestore and other infrastructure systems, MOTDs are reinforced by email messages sent to individual users who will be affected.

Ending Service

  • Customers may end service at any time. Once a customer has left the Research Data Warehouse service, the share area will be removed and the space allocated made available to other customers. Customers are required to ensure that data on the service is available or archived elsewhere. Customers are therefore advised to plan a migration away from the service well in advance of withdrawal.

Feedback

  • Help shape this service! Are we making the wrong assumptions? Should we be doing something different? Please provide feedback on this service to IT.Servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk indicating "research storage service feedback" in the body or subject of your message.

Support

  • All requests for support or advice with the Research Data Warehouse service should go first to your local Computing Officer. If this is not possible please contact the IT.Servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk

Leave Feedback