Filestore

Service Description

The filestore service provides a secure place for members of the University to keep their University work. Several types of storage are provided ranging from storage for an individual’s files to files which are shared across a unit or project team.

Where appropriate, the storage provided is replicated between data centres and backed up to a third location so that files will continue to be available in the event of loss of a single data centre.

Features

  • Variable quotas depending on user type, requirements
  • Backed up daily
  • Highly available with offsite mirror

The Filestore service is made up of the following components:

  1. Home folder – managed, backed-up file storage area for individuals to store data associated with their personal University activities.
  2. Home archive – managed, backed-up file storage area for individuals to store data which can’t be accommodated within the home folder allocation.
  3. Shared Filestore – managed, backed-up file storage area for University units.
  4. UNIX Home Folder – managed, backed-up file storage area used across several UNIX-based services (including Web Publishing and UNIX Time Share).
  5. Research storage – managed, backed-up file storage area for University research groups
  6. Remote access to Filestore is possible in a number of ways
    • Filr (for 1 - expectation is that this will extend to other areas in future)
    • Ftpfolders (for 1-3)
    • Webfolders (for 1-3)
    • Ssh (for 4)
    • Remote access for Research Storage depends on the type of storage provided and will be negotiated with the IT staff involved.

Users

Most of the components of this service are available to all members of the University. Some are restricted or charged.

Service Hours

24 x 7 x 365 with the following exceptions:

  • System maintenance will usually be scheduled for the IT Service's normal maintenance period, which is Tuesdays 06:00-09:00.
  • Some systems are automatically re-started for maintenance purposes between 02:00 and 05:00 on Wednesday Mornings, causing an outage of 10-15 minutes.

Level of Service

Storage allocated to individuals (rather than shared storage) will be deleted automatically as part of the IT account management process when staff/students leave the University. Once deleted, this data cannot be retrieved.

Home folder

All staff and students have a home folder quota of 4GB. For requirements beyond this limit, customers should initially discuss options with their unit’s IT support team.

UNIX home folders

UNIX home folders are exported using NFS to “trusted” hosts only. They are backed up daily for disaster recovery purposes. The service is site resilient – it is designed to be available after loss of one of the University’s main data centres.

Backups and data retention

On the CIFS storage services (home folder, home archive, shared Filestore) “Shadow Copy” can be used to recover previous versions of files (up to a maximum of 10 days old).

Although we make backups of these services, these are only for Disaster Recovery; they are not available for the restoration of individual files or folders. Requests to the IT Service 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.

Support and Documentation

Documentation is available at: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/filestore/.

Additional support is available via the IT Service Desk on 0191 208 5999 or it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk.

All incidents relating to both aspects of this service will be handled according to the Incident Management and Major Incident Management processes.

Request Process

  1. Home folder
    1. Every member of the University (staff or student) has a home folder created automatically when their IT account is created.
  2. Home archive
    1. Every member of the University (staff or student) has a home archive folder created automatically when their IT account is created.
  3. Shared Filestore
    1. Shared Filestore is managed by IT staff in units (school computing officers). Requests for access to this storage should be made to local IT support teams. See http://www.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/help-services/localitsupport/ to identify the appropriate contact.
    2. Computing officers can request a new shared filestore area (or changes to existing area) by contacting the IT Service Desk.
  4. UNIX Filestore is automatically provisioned when a new UNIX account is created. UNIX accounts are created automatically when the main IT account is created.
  5. Research storage
    1. Research storage is managed by IT staff in units (school computing officers). Requests for access to this storage should be made to local IT support teams. See http://www.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/help-services/localitsupport/ to identify the appropriate contact.
    2. Computing officers can request a new research storage area (or changes to existing area) by contacting the IT Service Desk.
  6. Remote access is automatically available when storage is provisioned.

User Responsibility

It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that they follow the IT rules of use: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/rules

Prohibited file types: Some of the services restrict the types of file which can be stored (because there are more appropriate places). See the online documentation at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/filestore/ for the current list.

Costs

Research storage is charged – current rates are available in PFACT. The other components of this service are provided free as part of our standard offering.