Information Services Division




How is shared group storage access/allocation managed?

Departmental Computer Representatives, or their equivalents, control all levels of access and distribution of shared storage that they have been allocated/purchased.

Who can purchase additional storage?

Any UCL member of staff holding an appropriate budget can purchase additional storage for their department, groups and/or staff members.

Can data be mass copied to an allocated file storage?

Any shared group member with the required access rights can copy any volume of data to shared storage as long as there is sufficient space available to complete the copy process. No specialist tools should be needed to complete a data copy process, e.g. normal drag and drop copying techniques are fine.

Who do I contact if I need the contents of a shared folder to be recovered?

Authorised members of the shared folder group can recover data using the snapshot recovery process (within 90 days).

If additional support is required, then the ISD IT Services should be contacted.

What is the Research Data Storage Service (RDS)?

The Filestore @ UCL service should not be confused with the dedicated Research Data Storage Service (RDS).

The RDS is a 'copy in, copy out' service intended specifically for research projects and designed to help address funder expectations. Data is accessible only to named project members. The service is particularly well suited for projects with multi-terabyte data requirements.

If you're not sure whether you should use the RDS service or Filestore @ UCL, see our Storage Guide (PDF).

Can I join a machine to a fileshare to simplify bulk data transfer?

It is possible to join a specific machine to an allocated fileshare, e.g. via drive mappings, using CIFS. To comply with UCL security policies however no generic user accounts can be used to conduct any form of data copying process from such a machine.

All data copying processes will need to be carried out by user(s) who have UCL authorised user accounts which are used as part of the authentication/authentication processes associated with accessing the computer and/or the data copying process.

Which is the preferred method/protocol to access the Filestore @ UCL service?

At the present time, the CIFS file transfer protocol is the recommended protocol to use. This method of transferring data between a device and the allocated Filestore @ UCL storage area is simple use and compatible with a range of devices and operating systems used within UCL.

Note: In the case of devices running a version of the Apple OS, only the latest update of this OS can utilise CIFS.

The NFS protocol is more complex to initiate. To enable this protocol to be used, details of all the IP addresses of the devices that will be accessing the allocated Central Filestore storage area will need to be provided as part of the initial request, or as an update to an existing request. The IP address details can be provided as individual addresses, or as subnet range(s), as appropriate.

Note: No Apple OS version will currently work with NFS at this time. These issues are being investigated, but until they are resolved it will not be possible for such devices to access the Central Filestore using this protocol.

What are the read/write speeds of the filestore service?

The maximum possible speed that can be achieved with respect to Filestore @ UCL read/write activities is currently 100MB/s (Megabytes per second). There are however a number of factors that could impact this speed, e.g. amount of network traffic. As a result, the more normal read/write speed that is experienced is approximately 70MB/s.

Why is my access to Filestore @ UCL slow?

It has been determined that the presence of a local firewall may adversely impact the speed at which users can access the central filestore. If performance issues are experienced, please raise an ISD support ticket in the normal way.

Work will then be undertaken with the identified Firewall Technical contact(s) to resolve the performance issues being experienced.

Can Filestore @ UCL be used as a resilient store for another filestore service?

The Filestore @ UCL service is intended to provide storage for user and/or shared group data. It is not configured, or intended to be used, to provide a resilient backup service for an independent filestore.

If such a resilient service is required ISD have a number of possible solutions that may better meet requirements. If you would like to investigate such a service please contact:

Can Filestore @ UCL be made accessible to external parties?

The Filestore @ UCL service is designed and configured to be utilised only by people recognised as being part of UCL. As a result, the current service does not meet this type of requirement.

How long does it take for a purchased filestore storage to be implemented?

Purchased filestore storage will normally be implemented within 1 working day (and usually significantly less) of the Filestore storage purchase request being received.

Implementation of purchased storage is dependent upon a valid and complete Journal/Finance code, i.e. <Finance/Journal code>–<Task code>–<Award code> being provided as part of the purchase request. Purchased Filestore storage will normally be implemented before the purchase storage fund transfer has been processed.

Note: If the storage being requested has any specialist requirements associated with it, e.g. specialist management, or the amount of storage purchased exceeds 50TB, some discussion may be required before the storage is provisioned. This is to ensure that the most appropriate storage service is utilised to meet the identified requirements.

Can my Apple OS based device access the Filestore @ UCL service?

All Apple devices should be able to access the Filestore @ UCL service using the CIFS protocol.

It has however been identified that if the NFS protocol is being utilised to access the allocated Filestore @ UCL shares, then devices running certain Apple OS versions may experience problems. Work is on-going to resolve these problems but as yet no formal solution has been identified.

I use a local DHCP service, will that cause any issues with respect to accessing Filestore @ UCL?

If you are utilising a local DHCP service to manage your devices IP address allocations, then this may require additional work to be undertaken during the allocation of Filestore @ UCL storage access. The following details should be supplied in the filestore request, or update request, as appropriate:

  • Subnet address range(s) maintained by the local DHCP service
  • IP allocation times
  • Name of a local DHCP technical contact(s).

Need further assistance?

Contact the ISD IT Services.