Temp Network Storage Service

Temporary Network Storage Services (Scratch) : Proof of Concept information

Proof of concept trial applications should be submitted here: Online Form [UOB sign-in required]

The service aims to provide on-demand access to large amounts of reasonably performing network storage at a low daily cost, for the temporary storage and manipulation of non-critical data. Users are able to consume several terabytes (TB) of data storage to allow further processing to occur before data is then transferred to an appropriate final location, such as the Research Data Storage Facility or Departmental Filestore, SharePoint etc. The service is not intended to support and must not be used for the long-term storage of any data and IT Services will automatically clean up data that is left within scratch areas outside of agreed periods.

You can see the Service Policy document here

What is the PoC TNS service?

This is a proof of concept trial that will only be available to agreed groups of users to ensure that our service meets the requirements of our users in the future. Further information is available as part of our application process.

  • TNS offers an easy way to access large amounts of reasonably performing disc space without the need for staff to attempt to purchase their own hardware devices or use unsuitable devices such as USB hard disc drives to carry out processing or analysis. The TNS will not meet the needs of all staff for all purposes, but is faster and less expensive than many cloud storage services. The data stored is held on encrypted discs provided from secure data centre environments and is therefore more compliant with data processing restrictions than other services.

  • If you need to hold or archive data for the long term other storage options are available.

  • Data that would adversely affect the service (such as virtual machine disk files) should not be saved.

  • Users will need to complete the online application form to be given access to a scratch filing system exposed via either CIFS or NFS. Charges will be incurred are made dependent on the amount of storage that is used over a period of time. Space consumption is calculated daily and recharging would occur monthly..

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Key Considerations

Data on this service has no guarantee of persistency: it is not a service intended to hold any data ‘at rest’ beyond an agreed period (default 30 days) and is not an archival service.

• No data stored on this service will be backed up or regularly versioned.

• Data will be automatically stored across multiple locations to guard against loss due to IT equipment failure or power outages and to ensure 99.5% availability.

• IT Services will not be able to restore data that is deleted or overwritten by users

• Data is stored encrypted “at-rest” and securely managed. However, users will be responsible for the management of their data and granting access to other members of the University.

• IT Services cannot guarantee that all sizes of data can be accommodated at all times as the service is shared for all users (e.g. requesting or attempting to consume 200TB may not be possible).

Therefore, data stored on this PoC service should not be considered irreplaceable.

Who can use this service?

At this stage this service is a limited proof of concept that will be provided to users/groups that can help us validate the operation and service requirements of a scratch service will be suitable for a future production service, which would be open to all members of staff in the University.

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How can I access?

Scratch space can be provided via either CIFS (preferred) or NFS mounts. If your application has been approved, you will be provided a connection URL\UNC path to access your storage area.

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How much space do I have?

If your application has been approved then you will have a flexible quota in line with your requirements; you can flexible use any amount of space within this boundary (e.g. 1TB-10TB). At present the service provides up to 1TB of data at no cost. Each part TB of data used beyond this amount costs 0.40 per day, so using 1.5TB of data for 1 week would cost ~ 2.80. There are no ingress or egress charges (costs for accessing or retrieving your data).

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Can I share my space?

Yes, the concept of the service is to allow the applicant (owner) to grant access to other members of the University.

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Length of the PoC?

We expect our PoC to run for at least six months. Users of the service will have six months notice if the service is discontinued or retired in order to allow them to move their data elsewhere.

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My question isn't shown here

If you are a PoC user or for further information please contact your IT Zonal Team leader or the IT Storage team.

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