Swestore

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Assignment

SNIC Storage is a working group within a SNIC, that has assignment to create and operate research data storage infrastructure and research data services.

In scientific areas such as high energy physics (the Large Hadron Collider at CERN), climate modelling, bioinformatics, bioimaging etc., the demands for research data storage and research data services are increasing dramatically. To serve these and other user communities, SNIC has appointed this working group to design a storage strategy, taking into account the research community needs. For more information please contact [support at swestore.se]

Swestore

The aim of this nationally accessible storage (Swestore) is to build a robust, flexible and expandable system that can be used in most cases where access to large scale storage is needed. To the user it should appear as a single large system, while it is desirable that some parts of the system are deployed and distributed across SNIC centres to benefit from the advantages of, among other things, locality and redundancy effects. We continuously investigate new technologies that are suitable to implement Swestore. This storage solution is intended as a versatile short and medium term storage (one to four years allocations), for large-scale research data. It is intended and best suitable for so called “warm” data that is not analysed or processed right now but it is still relevant for the active research project. Project allocations are usually not backed up unless agreed differently and all files, i.e. digital objects, exist in two replicas in two geographically different locations. The main purpose of this type of storage is to offload the fast storage (Center Storage) during the active research phase and to move data from and to SNIC Centers.

Today, Swestore is available as two separate services built on dCache and iRODS technology, and they exist under the names, Swestore-dCache and Swestore-iRODS.

Documentation for Swestore-dCache

Documentation for Swestore-iRODS

Center storage

Centre storage, as defined by the SNIC, is a storage solution that lives independently of the computational resources and can be accessed from all such resources at a centre. Key features include the ability to access the same filesystem the same way on all computational resources at a centre, and a unified structure and nomenclature for all centra. Unlike cluster storage which is tightly associated with a single cluster, and thus has a limited life-time, centre storage does not require the users to migrate their own data when clusters are decommissioned, not even when the storage hardware itself is being replaced.

Unified environment

To make the usage more transparent for SNIC users, a set of environment variables are available on all SNIC resources:

  • SNIC_BACKUP – the user's primary directory at the centre
    (the part of the centre storage that is backed up)
  • SNIC_NOBACKUP – recommended directory for project storage without backup
    (also on the centre storage)
  • SNIC_TMP – recommended directory for best performance during a job
    (local disk on nodes if applicable)