Compute Canada

What do I do if I need a lot of disk space?

Please note: The FAQ pages at the HPCVL website are continuously being revised. Some pages might pertain to an older configuration of the system. Please let us know if you encounter problems or inaccuracies, and we will correct the entries.

If you need more disk space than the disk quota on /home and /u1 allows, you should consider the following options, preferably in that order:

  1. The easiest way to keep data safe and within easy access is to keep them in /home. Our disk quota are comparably high, and the presence of more than 500 GB of data should lead a user to consider "cleaning up" the /home area. We strongly encourage all our users to download their permanent data and back them up on external media such as external drives and arrays, Tapes, or DVD. This is the safest way to make sure your data cannot be lost. In many cases the only reason why disk space usage approaches the limit is that unprocessed data are kept around unnecessarily. We do not supply individual backups or archiving facilities. This is the responsibility of the user.
  2. If the data are only temporary (eg, they are results that serve as input for other computations, but can then be discarded), they might be written out on scratch space. See this question below for further details about scratch space. Data on scratch space will not be archived or backed up, and and should be removed as soon as they are not needed anymore. This is only a solution if the data will be removed within a reasonably short time period.
  3. If the data are needed for a longer period of time, but can eventually be moved off the system or deleted, they can be brought to the afore-mentioned /u1 file system. Data of this kind will be backed up for the (rather unlikely) event of a multiple disk failure. We recommend to consider this solution for data that need to be available for several weeks or months, but cannot be kept in the /home area to avoid exceeding the quota.
  4. Finally, if you need to keep large amounts of data that are accessed rather frequently, exceed the disk quota, and need to be backed up, you need to contact us and make special