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Due to the increase in datasets required for research for example in the areas of Bio-informatics and Computer Science, large storage solutions are becoming more relevant to researchers when they are working out their potential infrastructure costs for grant applications. In addition, grant authorities are requiring research groups to host their research data for a period of up to 10 years. The ResearchIT team can assist in assessing your storage requirements by examining potential data generation for your project and whether a hardware, Cloud or hybrid solution is the best option for you?

Hardware solutions can be anything from a straightforward NAS box to a petabyte storage array attached to a high-performance cluster. 

 

Due to the increase in datasets required for research for example in the areas of Bio-informatics and Computer Science, large storage solutions are becoming more relevant to researchers when they are working out their potential infrastructure costs for grant applications. In addition, grant authorities are requiring research groups to host their research data for a period of up to 10 years. The ResearchIT team can assist in assessing your storage requirements by examining potential data generation for your project and whether a hardware, Cloud or hybrid solution is the best option for you?

Hardware solutions can be anything from a straightforward NAS box to a petabyte storage array attached to a high-performance cluster. 

A NAS (Network Attached Storage) device is often the most popular solution for researchers as it is the most cost-effective where it can be covered as part of the consumables part of the research grant instead of specifically adding it as an item in the hardware

The majority of NAS appliances in research may be used for

  1. Large datasets
  2. Output from scientific instrumentation and Imaging systems e.g. spectroscopes, analysers
  3. Archiving data results for research papers

How long does the storage device need to last?

Often NAS systems are required to last a minimum of 5 years and sometimes for longer if data are being kept for archival purposes. You should consider taking a maintenance contract on your NAS appliance if planning to keep it running for over 5 years.

What hardware should I consider?

Hard drives – depending on what the NAS appliance is going to be used for there are a few different options. Most NAS will offer Hard Disk Drives (HDD) as these tend to be the least expensive but you should consider adding at least some solid-state drives (SSD) if the NAS is going to be frequently accessed by users. Some further information on the difference between the two is available here.

RAM – it is worth considering/including RAM in your NAS configuration. There are 2 aspects to RAM:

  1. The more RAM you have then the more applications you can support, particularly if they are heavy processing applications like graphical simulation packages or database software like MySQL.
  2. The faster your RAM then the quicker it can transfer the information between software applications.

RAID

If the research project is going to be longer than a 3-year period then consideration should be given to installing a storage solution that implements RAID. A RAID solution can be implemented as either hardware or software. Further information on which is the best RAID for your storage array is available here. If the data stored on the array is in anyway critical then RAID 5 as a minimum should be considered.

Where can I host my NAS appliance?

If your NAS appliance is rack mountable then it can be hosted in the Daedalus data centre. Further details on this are available here. Smaller customer NAS appliances are often connected to a workstation in a secure location within the department.

How do I attach my NAS Appliance to the UCD Network?

You should complete the Network Registration form; make sure you know the MAC Address of the interface you are registering beforehand. The NAS appliance should be registered as a server to allow access to ports that are commonly required by servers e.g., ports 443 and 22.

 
Customers requiring futher details, please contact us at www.ucd.ie/ithelp.

UCD IT Services

Computer Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Contact us via the UCD IT Support Hub: www.ucd.ie/ithelp