Data storage terms and conditions

Purpose

The purpose of this page is to:

  • specify the terms and conditions under which eRSA provides research data storage and associated services to researchers and research groups
  • describe the research data storage services eRSA will provide.

Who is eligible to use eRSA data storage

  • Researchers and research students at University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, and Flinders University
  • Researchers from Departments of the Government of South Australia
  • Researchers who are collaborating with the above.

Roles

Throughout this page:

  • “eRSA” refers to the system administration services around research data storage that eRSA provides.
  • “researchers” refers to users of eRSA research data storage. This may include research support staff.

Research data storage services eRSA will provide

1. eRSA data storage facilities

Data will be stored on a high-performance, enterprise-quality storage system.

Data is allocated to a redundant array of independent disks with dual parity (RAID6) to cope seamlessly with a disk failure. For added protection, multiple hot spares are available for immediate RAID rebuilds 24×7 should a disk failure occur. eRSA’s Dell Compellent storage system is monitored 24×7 by Dell Co-Pilot support.

The storage equipment is hosted in a high-quality (Tier 2) data centre at the University of Adelaide. The data centre environment is climate controlled (temperature and humidity) by fully redundant air conditioning systems. The equipment is powered by redundant power circuits and uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Access to the machine room is controlled by a security key card system and is restricted to authorised personnel.

2. High Performance Compute (HPC) Storage

Researchers who use eRSA’s HPC systems are entitled to a 250GB scratch quota with each HPC account, with any applicable storage fees charged to their institution.

See eRSA high-performance computing terms and conditions.

Storage is managed using a quota system. Researchers will not be able to create new files if their usage exceeds 250GB.

3. Non-HPC Storage

Data storage is also available for researchers who do not use eRSA HPC. Prices for this storage should be discussed with eRSA.

Support services provided

eRSA provides data storage to researchers, along with the following associated services:

  • backups (upon request)
  • data access
  • service desk support
  • data security
  • system administration and monitoring services
  • usage reporting.

See eRSA Data storage services

1. Backups

eRSA can provide backups of the stored data upon request from the user. Storage back ups are not included as part of eRSA’s standard data storage service, but can be negotiated based on the user’s storage needs.

Incremental backups can be automatically created on the disk array over a period of 4 weeks. Full backups can be written to tape every 4 weeks. Backups of files can therefore be accessed for the previous 8 weeks. If required, longer term backups can be provided on additional tape storage for an additional fee.

The backup tapes are housed in an enterprise grade tape silo, within an eRSA machine room in a different building to the data centre where the disk storage array is located. The machine room power is backed up by a UPS. The environment is climate controlled (temperature and humidity) by fully redundant air conditioning systems. Access to the data centre is controlled by a security key card system and is restricted to authorised personnel.

Specified directories can be excluded from the backups on request.

2. Data access

Data transfer to and from the data storage is provided by the following protocols:

  • rsync

See Wikipedia article: rsync

  • CIFS (Common Internet File Systems)/Samba

See Wikipedia article: CIFS

See Wikipedia article: Samba

  • WebDAV

See Wikipedia article: WebDAV

  • SCP (Secure Copy)

See Wikipedia article: Secure Copy

  • SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

See Wikipedia article: SSH File Transfer Protocol

Client software for using these interfaces is available on all major operating systems. Samba and webdav allow the data storage to appear as a network folder on the researcher’s PC, enabling drag and drop copying. The storage will also be accessible from eRSA high-performance computers through NFS (Network File System).

Access to the storage is available from anywhere on the Internet. Data transfer using the above protocols will require specific network ports to be accessible on the eRSA file server from the researcher’s PC. This may require the researcher to request their local IT support staff to open firewall ports.

3. Data and system security

General security around research data stored by eRSA is provided by standard Unix credential security (user name and password). Permissions for groups can be provided using Unix Groups.

The customer will authorise specific researchers and research groups to access their folders. Access to data will be controlled using file system permissions, Unix groups, and user account logins.

All researchers wishing to access the data storage system must apply for an eRSA account using the online membership form on the eRSA web site.

4. System administration and monitoring services

eRSA will provide system administration and support services at no additional charge. System administration includes:

  • provisioning and maintaining the storage and standard access services
  • troubleshooting connectivity problems
  • access changes and issues
  • system monitoring
  • maintenance services.

System administration tasks that fall outside the categories listed above and require significant time may be charged for at a fixed hourly rate. The scope and price of work to be undertaken will be agreed prior to work commencing.

Recovery of data lost or deleted from eRSA storage by deliberate or accidental researcher action is not covered under system administration services and may be charged for at a fixed hourly rate.

When a researcher has stopped actively using eRSA data storage for one year, but has left data on the storage, eRSA takes the following steps:

  • determine if the researcher has left the institution by emailing (bounce email indicates the researcher has left), contacting the researcher’s supervisor if relevant (researchers who use eRSA storage are required to nominate their supervisor), or contacting the researcher’s research group
  • if the researcher has left, disable the account and archive the data.

Data that has been archived because a researcher has left will be deleted if the storage is required for other purposes.

5. Usage reporting

eRSA provides usage reports to DVCs-R at the three member universities.

eRSA can also provide researchers with monthly (or more frequent, if requested) usage data for monitoring purposes. This will show disk usage for top-level directories, as well as total usage.

Researcher support and service desk

The eRSA service desk is available during normal business hours, Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Please contact the service desk via email: servicedesk@ersa.edu.au

eRSA aims to respond within one business day.

Service levels

eRSA aims to deliver the following service levels:

  • 24×7 access to data on eRSA storage, with greater than 99% uptime and availability of the storage
  • service desk available during normal business hours, Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm, excluding public holidays
  • 1 business day response time for service desk requests
  • 4 hour response time for urgent or high-priority service desk requests
  • 1 business day to set up new accounts
  • at least 2 weeks advance notification of downtime for scheduled maintenance.

Conditions of use

All researchers must agree to the eRSA Conditions of use to get an account.

eRSA cannot provide storage for uses other than research; eg teaching or personal use.

Researchers should ensure that the storage is only used for research data.

Researchers should notify eRSA at least two weeks in advance if they require a significant increase in storage capacity.

Researchers who are postgraduate students are required to nominate their supervisor. All researchers are required to nominate the research group they are associated with. This information is necessary in situations when a researcher stops actively using eRSA data storage, but leaves data on the storage.

User/group management

Researchers will provide eRSA with:

  • a list of users who are authorised to access their storage area
  • memberships of any groups that are needed to enable shared access to particular files or directories.

Fees

Services at eRSA are provided for a fee, which is generally forwarded to the user’s institution. In most cases, the institutions do not pass costs on to the researcher, but this can be changed at the discretion of your institution. eRSA assumes you have received the permission of your supervisor or department head before using our services.

Fees are payable annually in advance, based on expected usage for the next year. An adjustment will be made to the following year’s charge based on the measured actual usage.

Our Partners

University of South Australia logo
Adelaide uni logo
Flinders university logo