High capacity research storage and sharing available for research in 2020

The University of Helsinki research storing and sharing service Datacloud will soon reach the end of its trial phase. When launched during the first half of 2020, Datacloud will provide university researchers with an efficient, high capacity solution for data sharing and storage. This blog post will tell you how to receive Datacloud capacity for your research.

(See IT For Science Team Lead Ville Tenhunen’s previous post on Datacloud.)

Fig. 1 General level architecture of Datacloud, source: Zenodo

During the Datacloud trial period, the service’s cornerstone platform, Ceph, has proven to be stable, scalable and suitable for large-scale data operations. We currently have over 200 TB data in Datacloud, with 20 research groups and ca. 150 users participating in the trial phase.

Nextcloud and other client software provide researchers with functionalities such as data sharing across organizational borders and user access rights management. During the trial participants reported some performance issues for client software outside of Ceph. These performance issues should be resolved as the client software is developed.

The current total capacity of Datacloud is 560 TB, with a maximum capacity of 50 TB per research group until Datacloud’s total capacity limit is reached. We will share capacity to research groups on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Datacloud in a nutshell:

  • Datacloud is a research data storage and sharing service with a current total capacity of 560 TB
  • Research groups can request capacity in the service – capacity may also be allocated to a researcher or research group working on an affiliation with the University of Helsinki
  • The IT Center is responsible for the development, maintenance, administration and continuity of the Ceph infrastructure and centralized client services (such as Nextcloud)
  • Research groups are responsible for delivering access rights to the members of the group (groups administrate their own user group in the University Identinty Management System)
  • Research groups may purchase their own capacity to the infrastructure. Please note that servers included to the Ceph cluster cannot be removed later, as the data in the cluster is distributed on several servers. It is therefore not possible to determine the specific servers where data is stored.
  • If your research group wishes to purchase extra capacity to the cluster, you must also purchase servers. Please contact the University of Helsinki IT Center for assistance (email: datacloud@helsinki.fi). The minimum extra capacity is 50 TB.

How to use it?

In order to receive Datacloud capacity for 3 years free of charge, we need the following information:

  • Name of the research group
  • Name of the PI of the group
  • Name and email address of the Datacloud group administrators (min. 2 administrators)
  • Name of the IdM group which will be included in Datacloud (new or already existing one)

If you are interested in Datacloud services, please contact datacloud@helsinki.fi.