File Storage on Iceberg

  • All users have a home area in the directory /home/username.
    The initial file storage quota for this area is 10GB 
  • All users also have access to a much larger permanent data-storage area provided under /data/username
    Initial quota for this area is 100 GB.  
  • All users also have access to large a fast-access data storage area under /fastdata 
    Fastdata area provides 260 TBytes of storage in total.This storage area takes advantage of the infiniband network for faster access.  
    There are no quota controls on /fastdata area but files older than 3 months will be deleted regularly without any warning.  We reserve the right to change this policy without warning in order to ensure efficient running of the service.
    Also, in order to avoid interference from other users' files it is VITALLY IMPORTANT that you store your files in a directory created and named the same as your username.
    E.g.        mkdir      /fastdata/ac1xyz .

    Use the lfs command to find out which files under /fastdata are older than a certain number of days and hence approaching the time of deletion. Example to find files 50 or more days old:

                 lfs  find  -ctime   +50   /fastdata/ac1xyz
  • To find out your current filestore quota allocation and usage type  quota .

If you exceed your file storage allocation

        As soon as the quota is exceeded your account becomes frozen. In order to avoid this situation it is strongly recommended that you -

  • Use the quota command to check your usage regularly.
  • copy files that do not need to be backed to the  /data/username area.
    Example:  cp mylargefile  /data/${USER}

       If your account becomes frozen  you can remove unwanted files by using the RM command (note upper case) and you will be automatically unfrozen.

Alternatively, if you have larger file storage requirements please request it by emailing .  

Efficiency considerations

For jobs requiring a lot of I/O, it may sometimes be necessary to store copies of the data on the actual compute node on which your job is running. For this, you can create temporary areas of storage under the directory /scratch . The next best I/O performance that requires minimum amount of work is achieved by keeping your data in /fastdata area.

These methods provide much faster access to data than the network attached storage on either /home or /data areas, but you must remember to copy important data back onto your /home area. 

If you decide to use the /scratch area we recommend that under /scratch you create a directory with the same name as your username and work under that directory to avoid possibility of clashing with other users.

The /scratch area is local to each worker node and is not visible to the other worker nodes or to the head-nodes. Therefore any data created by jobs should be transfered to your either /data or /home area before the job finishes. Here is an example script that will copy filex from your /home area into scratch and copy filey from scratch area to your home directory;

       mkdir   /scratch/${USER}
      cp   ${HOME}/filex    /scratch/${USER}
      #  run your program now that uses filex as input and produces filey as its output
      cp   /scratch/${USER}/filey    ${HOME}


 Any files left on the /scratch areas are deleted periodically when the worker-node is idle, whereas files on the /fastdata area will be deleted only when they are 2 months old.

Recovering Accidentally deleted files

If you notice the accidental deletion or corruption of an important file, it is advisable to attempt its recovery quickly.


  • We take snapshots of /home and /data areas every 4 hours and keep the 10 most recent snapshots,
  • We also take nightly snapshots of /home areas and keep these on a separate storage area,
  • We keep 28 days of /home area snapshots and only 7 days of /data areas

There are 7 days worth of snapshots available in your /home and /data directories in a hidden directory called .snapshot. You need to explicitly cd into this directory to get at the files:

cd /home/YOURUSERNAME/.snapshot
The files are read-only. This allows you to attempt recover any files you might have accidentally deleted recently.

This does not apply for /fastdata for which we take no back-ups.